Are Facebook Advertisers Going Wild Since Ad Images No Longer Have Text Limits? How Could the Band WHAM! Figure Into All This?
Facebook Ad Images No Longer Have Text Limits
Around the middle of September 2020, Facebook quietly removed all limits on the amount of text you can put into a Facebook Ad's image. They used to limit you to 20% of an image. See the Search Engine Journal article at the bottom for more info.
I wondered if advertisers would start using text-heavy ad images. This could let them get around the strict limit on the text that appears atop a Facebook ad.
Maybe most advertisers weren't even aware of the limit or know the limit is gone?
I took tons of screenshots of ads back in September 2020 using the Facebook Ad Library. I could look at all those companies and see if they were using more text now.
I don't see a huge increase in text on Facebook ad images. Most companies I checked had no text-heavy images then or now. Text-heavy is more than 20% of the image, or the video's initial frame, having text.
Perhaps companies tried lots of text and found it didn't work. Maybe many are missing an opportunity to test out some eye-catching text-heavy or text-only ads.
I think back to 1984 when a band named WHAM! made simple black-and-white T-shirts famous. If you sadly missed out on those or weren't born yet, here you go:
Photo from The Guardian Article "Why Wham! were positively the most misunderstood group of the 1980s": ITV / Rex Features (link at bottom)
They were from British designer Katherine Hamnett. She had lots more of the same: Photo from the W POPAGANDA blog post "memories of the '80s – Choose Life” (link at bottom)
Let's look at various advertisers across some markets. I'll post some ad samples along with each.
Out of 13 course creators I checked, three now have text-heavy ads.
Online Trading Academy has 110 ads. Ten use the same text-heavy imagery. But I went back and checked my Sep. 13th, 2020 screenshots, and they had this same image used across 26 ads out of 120 total. Those ads were from Sep. 2nd.
Facebook had purportedly become more relaxed on its text restrictions even before removing them completely. This is evidence of that. Other advertisers also had text-heavy ads in early September 2020 and earlier.
CG Boost is a 3D art academy but they use text-heavy ads! Out of 16 ads, 6 are text-heavy. Back on Sep. 17, 2020, they had 4 out of 24 ads that were text-heavy and they were from Sep. 10th. Much of the text is small and part of an image within an image, though.
Haley Burkhead had 24 of 34 ads being text-heavy back on Sep 14-17th, 2020. Now she has 21 of 55 ads that are text-heavy.
Out of 23 Travel advertisers I checked, 7 have text-heavy ads. I checked this against their ads on Sep. 10th, 2020.
Alaska Airlines now has 12 of 68 ads that are text-heavy. Three months ago they only had 6 ads, and none were text-heavy.
National Geographic has 16 of 85 ads being text-heavy. Previously they had 90 ads, and none were text-heavy.
Priceline has 2 of 17 ads being text-heavy. Back on Sep. 10th, 2020, they had 21 ads, and none were text-heavy.
RCI has 26 of 48 ads being text-heavy. Back on Sep. 10th, 2020, they had 28 of 37 ads that were text-heavy.
Tripadvisor now 6 of 33. Before, 0 of 27.
Visit California has 8 of 69. Before, 0 of 63.
Context Travel has 10 of 56. Before 0 of 15.
Out of 7 Podcast advertisers I checked on Sep. 19-21st of 2020, 2 now have text-heavy ads.
Sahara Rose – Highest Self Podcast now has 2 of 2. Before, 4 of 21.
Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast with Jason Linett now has 5 of 29. Before, 5 of 24.
Out of 22 Crowdfund advertisers I checked on Sep. 18th 2020, 10 now have text-heavy ads.
Cannanine has 7 of 46. Before, 2 of 44.
Storiarts has 1 of 12. Before, 0 of 7.
REBBL had 55 of 260 but all ads inactive and came before limit removed. All no newer than 3/1/2020. Total of 320 listed on Sep. 18th.
Airelle Skincare has 1 of 11. Before, 0 of 4.
Kettle & Fire Bone Broth has 1 of 69. Before, 0 of 82.
Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters has 4 of 11. Before, 0 of 1.
Back to the Roots has 48 of 180. Before, at least 10 of 80, but I only screenshot 108.
Biolite has 8 of 45. Before, 0 of 45.
Caulipower has 0 of 13. Before, 5 of 31. This is the one example of a company having used text-heavy ads 3 months earlier but not any more.
Splendid Spoon has 35 of 240. Before, 8 of 75.
Source 1 - SearchEngineJournal: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-removes-the-20-text-limit-on-ad-images/381844/
Source 2 - Photo from The Guardian Article "Why Wham! were positively the most misunderstood group of the 1980s" courtesy of ITV / Rex Features: https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2016/dec/26/george-michael-wham-most-misunderstood-group-1980s-thatcherism
Source 3 - Photo from blog W POPAGANDA post "memories of the '80s – Choose Life" https://waheedaharris.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/memories-of-the-80s-choose-life/