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Update: Facebook lifts 20% text overlay image restrictions for UK, Ireland ads only


Digital marketers in the UK and Ireland are now getting their ads Facebook-approved regardless of the amount of text they’re using as the social media giant lifts it’s 20% image-text overlay rule.

Update June 13, 2016: Facebook rolled out the update globally

Facebook has long disapproved ads with excessive text exceeding 20 percent of the ad image space.

“The shift will eliminate the text policy, and will no longer disapprove ads based on the amount of text included in an ad’s image,” Facebook’s global advertising representative told Digital Boom in an email.

Spirit of 20 percent policy still intact

 “The spirit of the policy will still be in place,” added the representative.
Instead of disapproving an ad for containing too much text, Facebook will alert users that they will be getting less reach for the same budget.
“Ads with text overlay around or above the 20% limit in place today will receive reduced to no delivery instead of being disapproved,” the global advertising representative explained.

When will Facebook roll out the update to all advertisers around the world?

Facebook SPOC told Digital Boom in an e-mail “We are still unaware of when it will be rolled out for the rest of the world, But we will more than happy to inform you when that does happen”.

Confusing News

The update was first reported by a UK website, which broke the news that the 20% rule has changed without elaborating that it’s limited to the UK and Ireland.
Digital Boom tested the update prior to Facebook’s emailed response and found no changes to the 20% text overlay rule in Egypt.
facebook 20% text overlay rule

20% text overlay policy for image ads

The 20% text overlay policy was introduced in December 2012 to protect the newsfeed from low quality creatives, and too much detail in ads.

“Ads must not include added or excessive text that comprises more than 20% of the image,” Facebook says in its advertising guidelines.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 11.00.19 AM
Facebook advertising guidelines

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments box below or join us on twitter & Facebook /adigitalboom. 

If you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at publish@adigitalboom.com

Digital Boom brings you the latest in online advertising, digital marketing, and social media trends in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
  • Geoff Desreumaux

    What we actually find disappointing is that local experts like you are fast to publish their unverified opinions to claim fame. All the information on this article, and across our site, is verified and tested in several world location before being published.

    In this specific case, we ran our own series of ads and verified that they were approved (as per screenshots) and worked across our target audience in Europe. We also noted that the reach was indeed impacted by the amount of text in image.

    I’m sorry to see that Facebook has not yet updated its advertising rules in your country.

    I would appreciate you editing your article.

    Thank you

    Geoff – Chief Editor @WeRSM

  • Dejeesh dev

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for sharing this content and this will be an exciting update for all, if the Facebook confirm the same. In my opinion you have to prove the same with data (the creatives that you have tested and the engagements you have got from the same), so that no one will raise questions at you.


  • digitalboom

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for your “nice words”. We’ve removed your organization name from our story, we meant no offense but to clarify the unverified update.

    I’m still wondering, are you the only organization from the UK allowed to see that update? If yes, so certainly there’s something weird, if no, so why no one reported that from there but you?

    Another thing, Facebook usually reveals upcoming features/updates even if they’re not yet rolled out to the whole world, example: Facebook Reactions were allowed in only 4 countries, Facebook announced it and all other specialized news websites reported it. In this case, there’s nothing from Facebook nor top social media/digital news websites like TNW, Social Media Examiner, etc…

    Last thing, reporting news/updates has to be based on facts & authentic sources, otherwise, it’s just claims and may harm your reputation over time.


  • Geoff Desreumaux

    Well as per my previous comment, this is an official and verified update. If you are still not able to check the Facebook help page yourself, you can check the original article again for a link to a screen capture of it, which I have also attached to this comment.

    Now concerning the author and publisher of this article, which we consider being 100% click baiting and defamatory, I kindly ask for it to be edited immediately. Thank you.

  • Geoff Desreumaux

    Please see my comment below.
    We demand that all references, included visual material be removed from your website immediately. This is defamatory and we will not tolerate.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  • digitalboom

    First of all, this is doesn’t rise up to the level of defamation. We removed reference to your website’s name. It’s our editorial decision to keep the visuals as a reference and we see nothing wrong with that unless the information you provided is inaccurate.

  • Geoff Desreumaux

    Fair enough. Let’s remove this conversation for the sake of your own website. We’re looking forward to read your edited article once the news has been confirmed by Facebook – if you did indeed contact them, I know we did 😉 – Of course we reserve the right to seek legal advice on this matter.

  • digitalboom

    We reiterate that we checked Facebook’s Help section regarding the use of text with visuals and the 20% policy hasn’t changed. See attached screenshot + link to what i’m referring to: https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads#text_in_images

    Again, you’re attaching only screenshots, however, you have shared a screenshot from a public publication on Facebook business help center. Could you please share with us that link? This would end the argument and prove your claims.

    Finally, you’ve already mentioned in a previous comment that Facebook didn’t update their policy, however, you’re now showing us a screenshot from an update on Facebook. Should it be available for just you? I think links are accessible for people 🙂

  • Geoff Desreumaux

    The link was always available in the original article which you did not read thoroughly apparently.

  • John

    Don’t let this guy bully you, Digital Bloom.

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  • Geoff Desreumaux


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