Fuck Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool

What Is The Text Overlay Tool?

If you've ever ran ads on Facebook, you probably know what the Text Overlay Tool is. For those that don't, Facebook requires that ad images must be less than 20% text. They claim it's because images get cropped on the different platforms and you should put all your ad's text in the body of the post. They don't, however, tell you how they calculate it but the do give us the beautiful piece of shit Text Overlay Tool.

When the selling point of the ad is the big sale we can't emphasize "50% OFF" or whatever in the text, other than using all caps. It's not enough. In the day and age when it takes a tiny flick of the thumb and your ad is gone forever, we need everything we can get to grab that attention and make them focus on the ad.

Holy Shit The Inconsistencies

Ponder these three images. Some variations of a Facebook ad I did at work for Shoe Fitters's 20 Year Anniversary Sale.

Ad 1

Ad 2

Ad 3

Now take a look at the results from the Text Overlay Tool for those three images:

Text Overlay Tool Results

You'd think the second image, having the smallest amount of text, would pass, but for the first one, I literally scaled up the second image a little bit and it TOTALLY PASSES?!

There's literally more text in the first image than one rated Low, and it get's OK?

It's a meme.

Good Luck

I don't know what to tell you, other than fuck Facebook's Text Overlay Tool. It's inconsistent as hell and it's really just trial and error to dial in the correct size and placement of your text. On the plus side, Facebook has changed their policy slightly around text in ads. If they determined your ad to have too much text they used to just disable your ad completely. Now they just suggest "Your audience reach may be slightly lower" like they don't know exactly how much your ad is going to be shown less with more text.

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