For Facebook marketers, one of the most difficult aspects of using Facebook as an advertising medium is getting your message across in a concise way while following all of Facebook’s guidelines — specifically the 20% rule.

For the past several years, Facebook’s 20% text overlay rule has loomed over advertisers, restricting the amount of text allowed within an image to limit the “spamminess” of ads. We get it. The idea is great; the execution is anything but. With strict guidelines on what counted as text, this rule left advertisers with few options for creative. However, the times, they are a changin’. Facebook has finally made the decision to change the 20% ad image text overlay rule! (Hooray!) 
Now, instead of the Grid Tool that was used to determine the percentage of text overlay in an ad image, there is now a rough visual guide. This means we can’t go all willy-nilly with our Facebook creative, but at least it’s not as strict. The four categories of text overlay are now: OK, Low, Medium, and High.  The OK category typically encompasses images with no text other than a company logo. With a low classification, which is roughly defined as a company logo with some text, your ad reach may be slightly restricted. Images with a medium classification will have an even more restricted reach, and images with high text volume won’t run. 
In addition to the rough guide categories, there are now exceptions to the rule that won’t impact your ad. These exceptions include the following:
  • Book or Album Covers
  • Posters for Movies, Concerts/Music Festivals, Comedy Shows, or Sporting Events
  • Product Images
  • Infographics
  • Legal Text
  • Text-based Businesses (i.e. Calligraphy)
Facebook is testing and rolling out the new options gradually, so the changes are not in place for all users quite yet. At the end of the day, you ultimately still want to include as little text as possible on your images and leave the promotional details for the post itself, but at least we now have some breathing room.