Does Your Content Play By Facebook's New 20 Percent Rule?

by Adam Rosenberg on Jan 30, 2013

Facebook PagesIn late December, Facebook clarified an existing policy on how much text was permitted on cover images and promoted images.

Long a source of confusion for content developers, Facebook announced that promoted image content could not contain more than 20% text.

Most marketers were quick to say Facebook would have no way to enforce such a policy and continued going about their business.

Unfortunately folks, Facebook is serious on this one.

Since January 15th (the date the new policy took effect), there have been numerous reports of cover images being taken down and promoted posts being rejected based on violation of this “20 percent” rule. The issue was that while Facebook was enforcing this policy, there were no real guidelines to know whether or not your content violated the rule.

Thankfully, the team at Ron Sachs has developed a grid-based template to help content developers determine what percentage of an image contains text. The tool is a 5 x 5 grid with a total of 25 boxes. An image meets the 20% test if text appears in no more than five boxes. The grid tool they’ve developed appears to be inline with internal Facebook tools that have been referenced when pieces of content have been rejected over the past few weeks. Check out the screenshots below:

The image below from Coca-Cola is within the 20% guidelines:

Image from Coca-Cola that falls within Facebook image guidelines

The image below (ironically from Facebook themselves) appears to violate the new policy:

This image would not pass the 20% rule

Again, this example would work:

Sample Cover image that would fall within the 20% Rule

This image would not:

This Cover Image violates the new Facebook Policy

Here are several templates to use as you are developing content for your brands:

Cover image template:

Cover Image 20% Template

Standard Facebook image template:

Standard Facebook Image Template

While Facebook still has yet to clarify this policy further – specifically regarding whether or not a photo of text counts as text (i.e. a stop sign), but until they do these tools should be close to every content developer to ensure proper alignment with Facebook promotional policy.

Social Fresh Tips Newsletter

Our top social marketing tips, tricks, and tactics dropped in your inbox every week!

Social Media Mastery Course with Chris Brogan

Training Module

Social Media Mastery is an eight week program delivered at your own pace via email (with some video and audio components), with an actionable lesson plan dedicated to helping you improve all aspects of your digital business as they relate to social media. Learn from Chris Brogan, a business strategist, digital marketer, and advisor to some of the largest and smallest brands in the world.

Post Author

Adam Rosenberg is an Account Supervisor at Edelman Digital where he specializes in developing community management and content strategies for clients. He also DJs and co-owns his own record label. When not doing the digital marketing thing, he can frequently...

  • http://larachelak.tumblr.com Lara Chelak

    I think these restrictions are pretty absurd, especially against example’s like Facebook’s birthday cake.