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Less Scrolling, More Stopping

The new rules for copy length and image size on Facebook and Instagram make it more important than ever to pass the “thumb test.”

As Facebook—and its Instagram sibling—push to fully embrace a mobile-first strategy, they’ve recently announced new rules for copy length and image aspect ratios for promoted posts.

Here is what’s at play.

Ads will now be limited to three lines of visible copy (the text shown before a user clicks “See More”). Down from the old-standard of seven lines, this ‘less is more’ attitude will put more pressure on brands to craft concise messages that hook viewers.

Video and photo aspect ratios are downsizing, too, going from 9:16 to 4:5. As for content that doesn’t meet these new standards? It’s allowed, but Facebook and Instagram will crop accordingly—forcing users to tap to view the full image.

While these changes will eliminate the need to create multiple ad units, they also emphasize the importance of creating content that passes what we call the “thumb test.” Simply put, will thumbs stop scrolling and stop on your content? Here are some of our current favorites:

Doritos “Logo Goes Here”
To appeal to Gen Z, you have to disrupt how they consume content. So, Doritos did just that, removing all branding and leaning on its iconic shape to capture attention. The result is a wild, visual-first campaign that was born from (and for) social media.

Dorito logo goes here

Made #withGalaxy
Samsung Galaxy figured that the best way to get people to consume their content was to let them create their content. Featuring real Instagram users’ photos captured #withGalaxy, Samsung is showing off the power of the Galaxy camera while generating a ton of eye-popping content that continues to stop viewers while building community.

So what will be your next thumb-stopper? Even though the new rules are shifting how you’ll execute your campaigns, we believe engaging content will always be king. And the brands that stop thumbs from scrolling will continue to reign supreme.

September 3, 2019