I.C. Enterprises

Business Strategies For A Digital Age

Facebook Cover Photo Rule For Text

Facebook Pages 20% cover photo ruleFacebook has revised the company’s Facebook Pages Terms from December 17, 2012. 

There were two major revisions but we are just going to talk about the one to do with only being allowed to have 20% as your text overlay on page cover photos. The 20% rule for Timeline cover photo has left many page administrators with questions, so here we will answer how you can determine what 20% of the cover image is and make your cover comply with this new rule.

What is the new rule?

This is what the Facebook Page Guidlines states for cover photos.

Page Features – Cover

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

Covers may not include:

  1. Images with more than 20% text;
  2. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
  3. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
  4. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
  5. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

The first of these rules which states you can not have, “Images with more than 20% text”, as your cover photo is the one we will be discussing today.

Determining if your cover photo is ok.

To determine if your text is within the 20% limit of a Facebook cover image, you need to have a tool that measures screen items in pixels, I have used a free tool called “Meazure” for this example (http://www.cthing.com/Downloads.asp). You can use this tool to calculate how large your text blocks are in the following way.

First, you need to know what the square pixels of the cover photo itself are, this is calculated by multiplying the width by the height

851 pixels wide x 315 pixels high = 268,065 total square pixels

Then if you multiply the result by .20, you will have the amount of square pixels that you can use and still stay within the 20% limit.

268,065 total square pixels x .20 = 53,613 square pixels usable for text.

You then need to work out what the square pixels of your existing text are in your cover photo, and make sure they are under the 53,613 pixel limit. If you have multiple areas of text, then just work out each area and add them together.

Practical example, the I.C. Enterprises cover photo.

As you can see, the cover photo on I.C. Enterprises has 2 areas of text on it. The first is the slogan “Helping You Succeed” and the second is the name “I.C. Enterprises” and tagline “Web.Video.Marketing”.


I.C. Enterprises Facebook Cover Photo

There are 2 seperate text areas on the cover photo for I.C. Enterprises.

 The text areas:

Text area 1 on the I.C. Enterprise Facebook Cover

Text area 1 has the Slogan and is 30,044 pixels in total area


Text area 2 on the I.C. Enterprise Facebook Cover

Text area 2 has the name/tagline and is 13,207 pixels in total area

 This gives us the following:

First text area = 30,044 pixels

Second text area = 13,207 pixels

30,044 pixels + 13,207 pixels = 43,251 pixels = 16.13% of cover photo area as text.

So this photo is well within the guideline.

 How are Facebook going to police this?

There has been a lot of questioning regarding exactly how Facebook is going to measure the 20% rule on cover pages, and as a graphic designer, I can see a few problems with the rule straight off.

When you create text, there is spacing arould the letters and within certain characters. Nobody really knows if Facebook is going to allow for this or if the text will be measured in “blocks”.

For safety sake, and to make it easier to work out, my recommendation is to measure your text in blocks so either way they are under the 20% rule. This will ensure that no matter which way Facebook measure it, your cover will be safe.

Why is Facebook implementing the new 20% text overlay rule?

The main reasons as to why Facebook has created the 20% text overlay rule can be found in their Page Post Best Practices that outline the company’s goal for quality.  In it, Facebook states:

Facebook people react negatively to content that they perceive as inauthentic or impersonal. Since text is rare in photos from friends, text in brand photos triggers negative emotions in people. Instead of introducing text in your images, choose photos that send a message or tell a story on their own without words.

Also, Facebook has put the following in the “general best practices” section:

Keep it simple. People should be able to tell what your image represents without having to scan your photo for minor details or read fine print. The simpler the image, the clearer your brand message will be.

Focus on quality. It’s a simple thing, but make sure that your photo is of high enough resolution to represent your brand in a positive light. Basic screenshots are often low quality, can appear grainy, and may cheapen the effect of your post.

Comment below and let us know what you think of the new Facebook rule, and if your cover photo fit into the new guideline….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

These are some of our client websites

DH Plumbing
A simple standard CMS system for a South Eastern Melbourne based plumbing business. All site content has been posted by the owner.
Goldfields Graphics
This "static" website was a refresh and clean up of an existing website the owner was not happy with. The site was recreated to be more user friendly and to compliment the clients branding across multiple businesses.
Key 2 Act
This was a conversion from a multi-page "static" site to a CMS system which allowed the client to do their own content updating. All the client colours and branding were maintained and the original site content was ported across into the same urls on the new site to keep search engine listings.