The Daunting 20% Facebook Rule

Posted by on Friday, February 1st, 2013 | 1 Comment »

These past two weeks, I, along with quite a lot of other social media marketers, have had to deal with the new Facebook ad policy for promoted posts. On Jan. 15, Facebook revised their regulations for promoted posts to include a new rule that the advertisers’ image cannot contain more than 20% text.

The problem?

Facebook has not provided a tool to tell advertisers how to measure 20% text. Our team has scoured the internet for an answer. The natural assumption would be to use a graphics program (being a PC person and not a graphics person, I only have “Paint” available to me) and factor how many pixels the text takes up on the image and divide it by the total pixels to get a percentage.

According to our Agency team Facebook rep, this is not how they measure it. Here is an email I received from Facebook as to how they determine the 20% rule:

“For context, the way we calculate 20% is by imposing a 5×5 grid on the image, which creates 25 boxes on the image. We then check any box that primarily contains text, and if more than 5 boxes are checked then the image is disapproved. We don’t necessarily check any box that contains text, so for example if two boxes had text in half of them we’d only check one of those boxes and not both, since they combine to equal 1 box of text.”
-Kate Z., Facebook Agency Team.

So why has Facebook created the 20% rule? I inquired:

“I recommend using images with minimal or no text whenever possible to avoid being disapproved and to enhance performance. The reason we enacted the 20% text overlay rule is because ads with less than 20% text significantly outperform ads with more than 20% text, so I think you’ll find that if you use images without text, or with very little text, you’ll start to see better results.”
-Kate Z. Facebook Agency Team

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some marketer comes out with a tool that will assist in promoted posts. So far, we have only been able to find a cover photo tool, which also requires 20% text or less. We did find this reference guide from one of our favorite third party app developers, ShortStack.

Is anyone out there as frustrated as we are? Have you found any tools that help you gauge 20%?


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