Facebook advertising images and the Goldilocks Principle

by | Dec 7, 2015 | Latest news, Online Advertising

Several months ago I ran an advertising promotion on Facebook for a client and got super frustrated with the Facebook and Instagram 20% text image rule. Advertising images on Facebook and now on Instagram must contain less than 20% text, otherwise Facebook and Instagram will not approve your advertisement.

So how do I know if my image has the right amount of text on it?

800px-Goldilocks_1912The Goldilocks Principle “Not to little, not too much, but just right”.

The Goldilocks principle states that something must fall within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes. When the effects of the principle are observed, it is known as the Goldilocks effect.

The Goldilocks principle is derived from a children’s story “The Three Bears” in which a little girl named Goldilocks finds a house owned by three bears. Each bear has its own preference of food and beds. After testing all three examples of both items, Goldilocks determines that one of them is always too much in one extreme (too hot or too large), one is too much in the opposite extreme (too cold or too small), and one is “just right”.[1]

The Goldilocks Principle normally applies to developmental psychology, but we can apply it here to Facebook and Instagram advertising images. It is possible that not having enough text on an image could result in incomplete communication of your message. Whereas, too much text could result in a penalty from Facebook and your advertisements may not be shown at all.

So how do you get around it?

Well lucky for us Facebook has developed a tool for measuring the amount of text in an image and it is easy to use and works effectively.
As mentioned in my introduction, I had issue with an image I was trying to use for a client’s Facebook promotion. It turns out that when I put it into the Facebook Grid Tool, 25% of my image contained text. A quick edit of the image and my ad was up and running.

So to save yourself the headache of Facebook putting a stop to, or disapproving your ads on Facebook or Instagram, make sure you are only using 20% or less of your image for text.

About the Author

Wayne van Elsen

Wayne van Elsen

Founder at Newport Digital

Thinker. Creator. Unapologetic internet geek. Coffee enthusiast. Entrepreneur. Falls down a lot. But gets back up.
Wayne van Elsen is an experienced entrepreneur, online business coach and WordPress wizard.

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