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3 Major Changes to Facebook Ads for 2016

Keeping up with Facebook can be a challenge.

This year so far there have already been a handful of changes to the website’s advertising practices.

If you’re not up to date, you can read a handy summary of the most important updates, and what they mean for advertising, below.

The 20% Rule Is Getting an Update

Beginning in April, Facebook began testing a revised version of its 20% rule: a limitation on the amount of text an ad could contain. Now, instead of rejecting images with too much text, Facebook will simply favor ads that contain little or no text.

They’ve developed a new system of image categorizations. Images that are “OK” (with very little or no text) will run as normal. Images categorized as “low” may have slightly lower reach, and “medium” images will have significantly lower reach. “High” text images may not run. Jon Loomer also reported that images with more text will cost more.

The big difference is that ads with more than 20% text will now be approved. However, because engagement is going to be significantly affected, it’s important to continue following Facebook’s best practice guidelines and keep text to a minimum.

Facebook is continuing to use its text overlay grid check, so that’s still your best tool for determining how much text Facebook will calculate your image has.

Facebook’s Audience Network is Expanding

Before now, advertisers could reach 1.65 billion users through Facebook’s Audience Network. Now, Facebook is expanding that number by making its ads visible not only to Facebook users, not to non-registered users who have ever visited Facebook. The expanded ads will be available on all third-party apps and mobile sites on Facebook’s Audience Network.Facebook will be using cookie tracking and plugins to identify non-users and target ads to them accurately. For advertisers, this means that Facebook can use its data to create more effective ads across the web.

Another Change to the News Feed

At the end of June, Facebook announced that they would be adjusting its News Feed to focus more on posts from friends and family.

In their announcement, they explained, “Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.” This means that posts from brands and publishers are going to show up less prominently.

In fact, Facebook acknowledged this side effect, predicting, “We anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.” They didn’t have any suggestions for how to adapt, apart from posting content that your followers will want to share. If you want to continue getting the same amount of reach, you may need to increase your Facebook advertising budget.


Written by content manager Meghan Woolley

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