Facebook: We’re getting better at measuring the 20 percent rule

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Facebook announced to advertisers that it has gotten better at measuring its own 20 percent rule — the guideline that an image advertisement can contain no more than 20 percent text. This has no bearing on organic or unpaid posts from a page or profile.

Facebook put a banner atop the News Feed of recent advertisers, saying that the company has improved the accuracy of the way it measures the 20 percent maximum. The site encouraged users who have boosted images to try again, saying that pictures that may have failed the test before might pass now.

So what changed?

A Facebook spokesperson explained the changes to Inside Facebook:

We made some recent changes to the accuracy of measuring of our 20% text policy. We’ve improved the way in which we detect text to more accurately measure 20% of text in ads. To be clear, the policy has not changed, and still remains at 20%, but the way we measure it has (to be more accurate).

The external grid tool will continue to be a resource and we recommend marking 5 boxes on the grid in order to determine whether your creative is likely to be deemed acceptable. Please note that if there is superfluous text in any images, we still reserve the final decision on the quality of the ad and all images with more than 20% text are still in violation.

Facebook also has a thorough Help Center entry explaining the 20 percent rule, which many marketers have found frustrating. Facebook also has a grid overlay tool so marketers and page admins can put an ad image to the test before putting money behind it.

There are two things that don’t count against the 20 percent rule:

  • Pictures of products that include text on the actual product
  • Photos of products in real situations or photos of products with a background

Readers: Have you ever tried to advertise an image but been denied by Facebook because it contained more than 20 percent text?

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