Facebook Ads Text Rule

Facebook lifted the 20% maximum text Facebook Ads Text Rule and there was much rejoicing.  But what does that really mean for marketers?  Should your images be filled with text now?

Facebook still gives you a warning that your ad may have “less reach” due to having too much text when you are creating an ad.  But is that really true?  I decided to do some experimenting to find out.


Warning with Facebook Ads text rule

In this article you’ll find out what has changed with the new Facebook Text Rule for ads, how it may or may not affect ads, and what you should change in your strategy.

**UPDATE Since this published, Facebook does appear to be actually stopping ads that do have too much text.

What is New with Facebook’s Text Rule for Ads

Previously Facebook would not let ads run if they had more than 20% text according to their Grid Tool.

Facebook Ads Grid Tool

The Facebook Grid Tool is still available but it has changed.  It now gives you an Image Text Rating

  • Image Text: OK
    Your ad will run normally.
  • Image Text: Low
    Your ad’s reach may be slightly lower.
  • Image Text: Medium
    Your ad’s reach may be much lower.
  • Image Text: High
    Your ad may not run.

Facebook Ads Grid Tool New


So I did some experiments to find out if a high text image truly would get less reach or no reach or cost more to reach people.

Case Study – Low, Medium, and High Text in Facebook Ads

I ran two short experiments with different images to see how the text affected the reach and cost of the ad.

First I created different images with different levels of text.

Facebook Text rule images


I spent $50 on each ad and ran them for just a day so it was a quick experiment.  I kept the text and targeting of the ads exactly the same so the only difference was in the images.

I watched the Reach of the ads as well as the CPM (cost to reach 1000 people) which would be affected if the ads did get lower reach.  And I got very interesting results!

Results from Facebook Ad Text experiment

So the ad with the highest text got better reach and lower CPM!

In general, I don’t really care about reach.  That’s not the true goal of this ad – it was to get optins to the Free Webinar on News Feed Changes (feel free to sign up for the replay if you are interested).

So I looked at how each ad did in terms of optins.  In this case the ad with text OK (one step up from the low text) showed the best conversion rate but something was a little funky with these results since there were 18 conversions and 13 link clicks which doesn’t make sense.

Results from Facebook Ads experiment conversions


Since this was a small test, I decided to do a second test with the images a little more “standardized” since each image had a different look and feel.

For my second test, I created images that all used a basic blue background and my image but varying levels of text.

Facebook Ads Text Rule experiment

I again ran the experiment for 1 day with the same text and target for the ads at $50/each.

In this case the medium text and high text ads got the best reach and the best CPM.

Results from Text experiment 2

But again, I don’t really care about reach.  How did they convert? (I use the Facebook Pixel to measure conversions)

What I found was the high text image converted the best!  Again, the results are slightly off because one ad is showing more conversions than link clicks but that sometimes happens with Facebook’s reporting.

Results from text experiment 2 conversions

And obviously these were smaller experiments so more testing is always needed.  But I find this encouraging because Facebook isn’t completely restricting an image just because it might have higher text.

Facebook Ad Text Experiment Conclusions

In both this more formal text and in other ads I’m running for clients, I’m not seeing a decline in reach or higher expenses for any ads I’m running with higher text.

And it’s possible the the added text in certain situations may help someone get the information they need to encourage them to opt in or purchase your product.  I’m also running ads with images that have no text at all and those are doing well in certain situations, too.

With any ad, the responsiveness and effectiveness of different tactics sometimes depend on the niche and the audience.  That’s why you must do your OWN experiments and testing to find out what works best for you.

So many variables go into the conversion to a lead – landing page, images, message, targeting – so make sure you know what works best for you.

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If you want to go farther with Facebook Ads, be sure to check out my full Facebook Advertising Secrets course which is amazing – 4 modules covering Facebook and Instagram advertising and a private Facebook Group to ask questions!  But the biggest benefit you get with the course is access to the Facebook Group where you can get all your Facebook Ad questions answered.  We give feedback on ads, troubleshoot reports, and give advice on how to make your Facebook ads shine!

Facebook Ads Text Rule

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Have you done any experimenting with text in your Facebook Ads?  Share your thoughts with me below!