Can You Use Gratisography Images on Facebook Ads?

When it comes to posting ads on Facebook, you would require a lot of images. As you would be updating your content or site regularly, using free stock photos will become a norm. Amongst several top sources, Gratisography is where you can find high-quality images in thousands. However, this does not mean that you can use hundreds of photos carelessly on a daily basis.

There is a limit to that and that does not concern copyright restrictions etc. Although images on such sites may look tempting because they are taken by professionals but in your case, it might look fake and unreal. Furthermore, if the owner finds out that the images are being used for shady purposes, he would not wait to sue. Therefore, there are certain dos and don’ts that you should consider when using free stock photos for Facebook ads. Let’s discuss.

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If you are running an ad for YouTube or blog stills, it is suggested to use Pexels, Unsplash, or Pixabay. Furthermore, if you wish to use an ad that includes text, make sure that you run it through the Facebook overlay tool. The reason being that Facebook prefers ads that include little or no writing. Therefore, if there is too much text included in an ad, it will not approve it.

Sometimes, the Facebook overlay tool could be inefficient as well. In the past, it has confused certain parts of an image with text and penalized the ad creator. In such cases, contact Facebook to sort out the issue.


The easiest mistake you could make and most people have made in the past is using the same stock image too many times. Although you could use the same image multiple times but you know excess of everything is bad. Repetition could bore the audience and make the ad look old. It is recommended that you use homemade images. Blend different types of images. A mix of stock and homemade images is going to sit perfectly.



If you were to ask a professional, they would tell you that using homemade images is always going to be the best option. Furthermore, if you intend to use images for Facebook ads, it is better to blend homemade images so that viewers believe it is authentic and stands out.

You have to view this from a viewer’s perspective. Even though by using homemade images, the ad might look average but to those who value authenticity and originality, it is going to be their first choice. In the past, many homemade videos and snapshots have knocked studio-shot content out of the park.


If you are creating an ad for outside Facebook purposes, consider using Shuttershock images. Although the Ad Manager allows you to use these images for free but if you are using them outside its limitation, you are going to have to pay. Furthermore, if you are using an image that consists of a person, make sure that the image does not depict the person as offensive and racist, etc. Facebook will not be approving such types of ads, whereas you will be spending hours editing and waiting for approval.


While creating ad content, implement the split-test image technique. If you were to just change a single image in your ad, it could produce staggering results. Moreover, if it is Facebook where you want to post the ad, use ‘Dynamic Creative’ that allows a cheap split-test. The Dynamic Creative feature automatically tests and checks multiple versions of an ad within a targeting group.


The biggest mistake you could make while creating an ad for Facebook is using unrelatable stock photos. This will alienate your audience and shift their focus as soon as they sense that something is not right and you do not want that. For instance, if you are advertising your car rental service, posting an image of women standing in bikinis is not going to be a perfect fit.

Few More Tips to consider

While you are using free stock images, make sure that you are allowed to redistribute them. For instance, the Creative Commons License allows free distribution of images unless they are copyright protected.

Additionally, if the owner requires attribution, you are bound to give it to them. Attribution means that you must attribute the work to the actual owner but not in a way that suggests people endorse your work.

On the other hand, non-attribution means that you are not required to attribute the work to the actual owner of the image or licensor.

Similarly, if an image is covered by a Royalty-Free license, it means that you are allowed to use the image or images without paying any fees or royalties.

Final Word

Now that you are aware of what you can and cannot do, it is time to get wise with the free stock images especially if you are using them for Facebook Ads. Owner limitations are one thing but Facebook is a separate entity. It has its own set of rules and regulations that you need to follow. Since you are running an ad or ads, being extra cautious is going to be a smart decision. Furthermore, Facebook is a community of millions, if you mess up at the start, the end is going to be quite painful.