The Facebook Grid Tool: What it is and Why You Should Use it

The Facebook Grid Tool

You have built your Facebook ad campaign. You have come up with the perfect advert. Now it’s time to run that advert campaign and watch the clicks roll in, right?

Hold on. There is still one more essential step to take.

You should run your advert via the Facebook Grid Tool (aka Facebook Text Overlay Too, or Facebook text checker—more on that below) or your fans might never see it.

What’s the Facebook Grid tool?

In a nutshell: the Facebook Advert Grid Tool helps you build an advert that will reach more users by measuring how much text is on your advert picture.

Adverts with very little text get prioritized by the Facebook algorithm and have a correspondingly high reach. Adverts with too much text will get penalized and have little or no reach.

So what’s the story?

Until recently, Facebook advertisers can cover their advert photos with a maximum of 20 % text. That’s because Facebook found that ads with less than 20 % text coverage performed better (i.e., received more engagement).

facebook grid tool
Examples of adverts that break the 20 percent text rule. Source: Facebook

The way adverts were “tested” involved uploading the advert photos into a 25 rectangle grid (hence the name “Facebook Grid Tool”). If a text was present in over 20 % of the rectangles, Facebook would reject your advert.

Users tended to search out the system frustrating and arbitrary because it had as much to do with where your text was placed as how much text there was. The tool has since been replaced with a new system: the Facebook Text Overlay Tool.

Use the Facebook Grid Tool

Utilizing the new Facebook Text Overlay Tool is easy. It is understanding what the outcomes mean for your advert campaign that is a little trickier.

facebook grid tool

Step 1. Upload

Go to the Facebook Text Overlay page and add your advert picture.

facebook grid tool

Step 2. Receive a rating

The tool will give your picture one of four ratings: OK, Low, Medium, or High.

While the 20 % rule doesn’t technically apply anymore, these ratings are still based on the ratio between the text and imagery on your advert.

If your advert has a little too much text, it will be penalized and will reach fewer people. If it has method too much text, then it may not run at all or reach very few people.

So, when building your advert, you want to ask yourself: how much text is too much? And what counts as text? More on that below.

How to make sure Facebook approves your adverts

The simplest method to ensure your adverts get approved is to include as little text as possible on your picture. These are the pictures that will get the “OK” message in the Facebook Image Overlay Tool.

Facebook provides examples of what sorts of photos apply to each category and how it will affect your advert’s reach.

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The second factor to remember is what counts as “text” on a picture. Yes, words, but also:

  • Numbers
  • Text-based logos
  • Watermarks

Likewise, there are some sorts of text that do not count as “text” under Facebook’s guidelines. Exceptions to this rule include:

  • Book/album covers
  • Games
  • Products
  • Event posters
  • Legal text
facebook grid tool
This advert is okay because the text is on a book cover

Keep in mind: Facebook’s objective is to keep newsfeed content as uniform as possible so that your friends’ content blends seamlessly with adverts from brands. A catchy headline is good, however when it comes to boosting your reach (and enhancing your Facebook ad conversions), the less text in your photos the better.

Use the Facebook Grid Tool to streamline your advert creation process and make sure that your advert will get seen by your target audience.

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