Facebook Explains How 20 Percent Ad Text Rule Is Enforced

By Justin Lafferty 

Many advertisers have been unhappy with Facebook over its rule that ad images must contain no more than 20 percent text. Sister site Inside Facebook recently sat down with a member of Facebook’s policy team to gain a better understanding of the company’s controversial guidelines.

Facebook told the blog it uses both manual and automatic review procedures to see what kinds of ads make the cut. All image ads go through Facebook’s scanning tool, and then a select few are measured by humans. As Inside Facebook’s Brittany Darwell notes, this is why it seems like the rule is inconsistent.

Text on the actual products being advertised doesn’t count toward the 20 percent text rule, but the computer systems might not be able to tell the difference. Unless those ads were among the hand-reviewed ones, the computers might automatically reject them.

To help advertisers figure out whether or not their images are legal, Facebook said it is developing an external version of the grid-based text detector it uses. Facebook started testing this last Friday, and will likely be rolled out to power editor users eventually.

Inside Facebook also included examples of what’s OK by Facebook and what would get rejected:

Readers: Have you ever had an ad rejected by Facebook for having too much text?