How to beat Facebook’s 20 % rule

There is one thing you must always have on your mind when creating picture based content for your page (basically anything though). Annoying and all-hated 20 % rule. The problem isn’t only that you always have to check whether there’s more than 20 percent of the surface of your ad filled with text, but you also have to check whether the message is placed right. Luckily, there are ways how to deal with it.

1) Create an easy-to-edit template

If you are afraid of breaking the rules and you already use uniform graphic design, then there’s nothing easier than creating a template, probably with grid included in an invisible layer (just to be sure). It’s actually not any kind of hack, but using it regularly you can avoid never-ending grid tool checks, especially when you have to work under improvised conditions.

2) Make text seem like a natural part of a photo

If there were no exceptions for the rule, Facebook would basically disqualify most products and photographs from being promoted. That’s most probably why it is possible to promote, for example, pictures of t-shirts with quotes on them. And of course, it’s also popular way how to circumvent 20 percent rule. Make your text seem like natural part of the scene, product or any object in the photo, and it will get through when being reviewed.


The point is, that with over 1 billion users worldwide there is no way Facebook could review your advertisement just by human force, and automatic algorithms are not good enough (yet) to prevent this from happening.

But the imperfection can actually play against you as well. From time to time some pictures which are completely OK may be recognised as filled with regular text. Therefore, the con of this approach is that before releasing such made content you have to do some black post testing first.

3) Make text harder to be recognized by FB algorithm

This would really need a lot of testing but it may be worth it. There are some ways using which Facebook is able to recognise that the object in the picture is a letter or a number. If you make it harder for it, it may not always succeed. In mid of 2014 I was regularly using an atypical font to get my ads successfully through the review.

There are some other similar ways of beating the rule. For example, you can blur the text. But the ad as a whole works just in some particular creative cases then (as an ad for glasses for example).

I didn’t try this picture for an ad, but in other cases, similar to this one worked just fine.

BUT Facebook really puts an effort in its continuous improvement so I have to warn you: This approach may prove useless or very demanding in the matter of time needed for testing. And let’s be honest, it’s always risky. You just can’t guarantee it would work on 100 %. Measure twice, cut once!

Do you know some other ways how to fight back to this rule? Consider sharing it in the comments.