Facebook Text Overlay

Facebook Text Overlay: Is the 20% Rule Still Relevant in 2022?

At 5 Horizons we value curiosity and expand our industry knowledge by keeping up with the latest marketing trends and testing the relevance of the old ones. 

It’s been a few years since Facebook got rid of its restrictions on text content in ad images, known as “text overlay.” When enforced, the rule used to reject advertisements that had more than 20% text in the image itself. Even though the rule is no longer a requirement, it should still serve as a guiding principle for anyone looking to advertise on Facebook, according to HubSpot.


“Use less text on images” is listed as a top recommendation from Facebook to its advertisers. The goal of advertising on Meta platforms (Facebook and Instagram) is to create ads that blend as seamlessly as possible into the rest of the content in the user’s newsfeed. Consequently, images with less than 20% text create a better experience for viewers and advertisers and tend to perform better.

How to Optimize the Text-to-Image Ratio

1. Use a Text Overlay Tool

When the 20% rule was enforced, Facebook offered a text overlay tool to help advertisers determine whether their images had too many words. While the original tool is not available anymore, these alternatives mimic its functionality and can help you determine your text-to-image ratio:

2. Pay Attention to Details

Images of book and album covers, event posters, video games, and some product images that contain text are an exception to the 20% rule. However, text-based logos are not an exception to the rule and should be counted when deciding how much text to include in your image.

3. Pick an Effective Font Size

Smaller font sizes don’t take up as much space and are recommended for ad images, while bigger font sizes make you exceed the 20% rule right away. Still, your font should be big enough to be legible, so staying around 24 pixels for sentences and under 42 pixels for headings is a good rule of thumb. 

Keep in Mind

Use the 20% rule as a guideline when creating your ads to make sure it’s as effective as possible. Keep the image text to a minimum while opting for more eye-catching and resonant language. And remember, even if your copy is well-written, too much text is too much text.

Create Better Facebook and Instagram Ads

Our 5 Horizons creatives are experts in reaching unique audiences with compelling copy and appealing images. Contact us if you’re looking for ways to make your marketing stand out and encourage people to engage with your brand.