Facebook’s cover photo policy seems to have changed yet again. It appears that the social network has quietly removed the 20 percent text rule, a source of much confusion and frustration for marketers.
Changes introduced in March eliminated rules against contact and pricing information and calls to action, but the 20 percent text rule remained in place. Discovered by Facebook marketing and page-management firm TabSite, an update to the social network’s page guidelines, posted yesterday, made no mention of the restriction.
However, it looks like the 20 percent rule will still apply to images used for advertising as stated in Facebook’s ad guidelines. This means that News Feed ads, such as Page Post ads and Sponsored Stories, will be affected. The rule doesn’t apply to Marketplace ads, which appear in the right-hand column, or photos uploaded to your Page that you don’t pay to promote.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for confirmation of the elimination, and we’ll update this post if details have changed. It’s possible that the rule was difficult to enforce, and it might reappear once the company has a better way of implementing the restriction.
That said, too much text on a cover photo can be a turn off. Now that cover photos appear in Facebook’s new News Feed, it’s important that you choose an image that will encourage viewers to click through — in other words, don’t clutter it with contact details and calls to action.
[Updated]: A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed that the social network will no longer enforce the 20 percent rule on cover photos. Instead, the company is encouraging Page admins to use the rule as a best practice to maintain higher quality. Facebook will only require compliance with the 20 percent text policy for ad images. This means that any ad type that pulls in a cover photo (Page like ad) will continue to be subject to the 20 percent policy.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.