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Did Facebook Quietly Change the Dreadful 20% Rule?

Good news for digital marketers! It looks like Facebook is finally changing the 20% text overlay rule. The news was first reported by Social Media Today on April 8th, meanwhile Facebook has been awfully quiet about the changes. It seems like the changes are only supposed to be rolled to digital marketers in the UK and Ireland, but DMAC put the rule through the test and it seems like Canada is able to make use of the new changes as well.

The New Rule Put Through the Test

After reading the article posted by Social Media Today earlier this week, DMAC decided to see if the new rule applied to Canada as well, and set up two campaigns on two different Facebook pages to see if images with more than 20% text would pass the test. We used the images below to do so:

pic article 2

As you can see, the image used for this advertisement has 44% text, yet was approved by Facebook fairly quickly. We then wanted to test again, just to be sure. So when then posted the following picture on our DMAC Facebook Page:

pics article

Again, the picture contained way more text than allowed; the image had 40% text coverage according to Facebook’s grid tool. After about 15 minutes we got the following notification:

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 10.35.41

Again, Facebook accepted our boosted post.

So Is Everybody Able to Use The Rule Now?

The answer is; we don’t know either. What we do know is that only the UK and Ireland are supposed to have the rule applied to them, yet apparently Canada is also able to make use of this new rule. One important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t suddenly completely cover your images with text. There are new rules that will still need to be considered when creating your advertisement. When we go to advertising rules on the Facebook website, the old 20% overlay rule is still in order. However, users in the UK and Ireland are able to see a new set of rules. According to Social Media Today, the new rules are as follows: There’s now 4 categories of text overlay; image text OK, low, medium and high. The OK category is when your image hardly has any text in it (for example just a company logo); this is Facebook’s preferred image style. Low means when there’s some text in your image and, you could compare it to the amount of text we used in the images above. When using this amount of text, your ad will be accepted, but it is possible that you ad’s reach might be slightly limited.

The next category, which is medium, contains slightly more text. When doing so, your ad’s reach may be limited. When your image falls into the high category (this is when your image contains a lot of text), you may not reach your audience at all. There won’t be a grid tool like there was before, you’ll now simply have to look at examples that Facebook has provided in order to determine what category your image will fall in. Ultimately, Facebook does still prefer images that have little or no text. So keep that in mind when creating your image to guarantee maximum reach. The new changes are not in place for all users yet, but will likely be rolled out to more countries soon.

About DMAC

If you want to know more about the impact that social media has on your day-to-day lives, and how corporate training can improve your social media service please click here. DMAC is an online academy offering courses and customized corporate training sessions to businesses and individuals seeking to develop or upgrade their social media marketing skills. To learn more about our Social Media Marketing course click here.

April 13, 2016

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