How Marketers Should Use The Facebook Ad Library

Jul 25, 2022 12 min read

Are you looking to get creative inspiration from your competitors' ads?

If you don't know what is happening with your competitors, you are likely lagging behind a lot from those who are superior in your field.

The Facebook Ad Library is an ideal means of gaining insight from your competitors' ads. It ensures that you remain in cruise control of your marketing game.

Facebook Ad Library will help you find exactly how your competitors approach Facebook ads. You can use this information to dominate your competition by spying on them!

This blog will let you know how to use Facebook's best-kept secret tool – Facebook Ad Library – to step up your ads game.

Table Of Content:

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What Is The Facebook Ad Library?

Facebook Ad Library was created by Facebook in 2019. Facebook opted to offer everyone access to data on every activity on its different platforms to enhance transparency.

Any ad currently running on Facebook and Instagram can be accessed in the Facebook Ad Library. This tool is exceedingly helpful for marketers to see every ad made by their competitors & how it is performing.

What Is The Facebook Ad Library

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Some of the most significant insights you can gain by performing competitor research in the Facebook Ad Library are:

  • Which ad formats are they using?
  • Which of their ads has the most impressions?
  • Are they performing A/B tests?
  • Which are their longest-running ads?
  • How do they communicate with their target audience?
  • Which trends are they embracing?

Facebook Ad Library includes:

  • An option to see every active ad on any Page
  • More information about Pages in the Library
  • Advertisers spend information for ads related to politics
  • Improved search in the Library
  • Ability to report ads from the Library

Facebook Ad Library: Features

You might have questions like, can anyone see the Ad Library? How long does it take for the ads you are searching to appear? The features of this Ad Library will help you answer these and many more similar questions.

Accessible To All Users

Anyone logged into the social network can access information related to Facebook ads from the Facebook Ad Library. But, if the ads include alcoholic beverages or gambling content, the information will be available to those logged into Facebook. Underage people will also not be able to see such ads.

Users Can Search For Any Ad

Users can search for ads by keywords, name, or Facebook page through the Library's search engine. The results will show ads of all types, including posts, videos, or Instagram content that matches the term searched for, as well as the search fan page.

Facebook Ad Library: Features

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Offers Informative Trackers

Information on ad spending or reach can be accessed from the Facebook Ad Library. This Library even offers the opportunity to access multiple trackers. It keeps users informed if there have been issues or outages within the Library, like refresh delays or maintenance of the Ad Library.

Provides Significant Information On Facebook Ads

You can find any type of ad in this Facebook application from the search engine, which includes Instagram, & whether or not you have seen the ad creative. Any ad is displayed in the Library within 24 hours of receiving their first impression. The changes or updates made on an ad are also reflected in the Library.

How To Access Facebook Ad Library?

You can access the Ad Library in two ways to check your competitor's ads. Let's take a look:

Method 1: Through The Competitor's Facebook Page

Go to the competitor's Facebook page. On the left side panel, you will see a tab titled 'Page Transparency.' Click on 'See all.' A lightbox will open up. Scroll down to the bottom.

If the page runs ads on Facebook, you will find the message 'This Page is currently running ads' under the 'Ads from this Page' section. To locate the Facebook Ad Library, click on the button that reads 'Go to Ad Library.'

The Facebook Ad Library will open up, showing all the currently active ads run by that brand.

How To Access Facebook Ad Library?

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Method 2: Using URL

You can access Facebook Ad Library to search for any brand's ad by visiting this link. You will have to apply different filters to drill down on the ads you are searching for.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library?

The Facebook Ad Library is very easy to use. Facebook has given its best to provide access to ad information under one roof to anyone, even if they have never managed a Business account or used Facebook at all.

One of the main reasons to utilize this gem of a tool by Facebook is to analyze those ads that are working for your competition & which ads are not.

If used well, these insights can save a lot of ad optimization time & wastage of money. Let's see how you can use Facebook Ad Library to find your competitor's ads:

Step 1: Choose The Location

This step is effective if your competitors are running ads for different locations and if you want to analyze ads for a particular location. By looking at your competitor's ads location-wise, you can analyze how the behavior of your target audience differed according to demographic. Simply choose the location you want to search ads in.

In fact, you will also see suggestions for locations in which ads are run by the same brand at the top of Facebook Ad Library when you search for a location. Click on 'View Ads' to see more ads of that location.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library Step 1

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Step 2: Choose Ad Category

Pick a specific category. There are two categories available: Issues, election or political ads, or all ads. Select 'All Ads' to search all types of ads. You can select the second option if you only want to find ads in special categories.

Step 3: Search For Keywords

Now, you can search ads by entering the name of the advertiser or by keywords. Write the name of the brand or company that is operating the ads. After that, you can click on the page you are searching for, & it will display all the related ads the brand is running.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library Step 3

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Step 4: Check The Active Ads

Once you complete the above steps and click on search, you will see the active ads run by the brand in chronological order. You will also see what platforms they are running on, such as the Facebook app, Instagram, Messenger, etc.

If you want your Facebook mobile app to run faster, use less data, and have a better display and graphics, try using Facebook Touch

Step 5: Filter By Language

You can use specific filters to improve your search and downsize the results.

Click on the 'Filter' button in the top-right corner to open a new lightbox (popup). You can choose if you want to view ads in all languages or if you want to view ads in English. Ads that contain more than one language will not appear in the results when this filter is applied.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library Step 5

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Step 6: Filter By Platform

You can view the ads that are active and running on all platforms or a certain platform. The different platforms for which you can view ads from the Facebook Ad Library are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Audience Network
  4. Messenger

Applying this filter will give you a good idea of how the creatives are adapted for different platforms.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library Step 6

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Step 7: Filter By Media Type

Facebook Ad Library lets you filter ads depending on the media type as well. The filter types available are:

  1. Images
  2. Memes
  3. Images and memes
  4. Videos
  5. No image and video

The Images type will include images with little to no text. Memes will include images with text. The Videos type will show ads that contain a video.

Step 8: Filter By Impressions By Date

You can apply this filter to choose an exact date or select a date range to view ads. Thus, you can view the ads that got the most impressions on those days. This filter can be helpful as an indication of the best-performing ads for any brand.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library Step 8

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Step 9: Evaluate Ad Creatives

The idea behind examining the ad creatives is to identify the creative patterns that are working well for your competitors. You can notice everything from design to the primary text, colors, CTAs, & headlines.

This is the ultimate shortcut to finding winning ads & using them to shorten your learning curve.

How To Use The Facebook Ad Library Step 9

If you haven't tried Facebook Ad Library, you must spend time researching it as it will give you recurring returns over time.

Here are some questions to ask when looking at the adverts of your competitors:

  • Does every ad have an image?
  • Are the images actually photos, stock images, cartoons, or bespoke for that company?
  • What do the images contain? Bright colors, people, faces, or cash savings?
  • Do the ads use bullet points?
  • What kinds of calls to action are used?
  • What does the ad tell the viewer to do?
  • What does the ad focus on? Is it the price, service, or something else?
  • Which platforms are they running ads on?
  • How do ads on different platforms differ from each other?
  • Are there several variations of the same ad? If so, what's changing each time?

Know more about How To Spy Your Competitor's Facebook & Instagram Ads

How To Find Ads Within The Facebook Ad Library?

There are three ways you can use this Library to look for Facebook ads & all their related ad details.

General Search

While searching for Facebook ads, this is the first choice you will come across. With the search tool, you can look for ads by the keywords or the advertiser's name.

So, if your interest is an ad carried out by KitKat, adding the brand name will trigger suggestions to pop up on the Facebook page & its campaigns. You can filter by various options such as region, country, active or not, the reach, or the platform in the search results.


The Report option allows you to filter, explore, & download information on ads relating to social issues, elections, & politics.

You can know how each advertiser spent by the geographical location. This effectively demonstrates the efforts of Facebook to boost marketing transparency.

How To Find Ads Within The Facebook Ad Library

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library


You can use the API (application programming interface) of the Facebook Ad Library to conduct a customized keyword search & access the ads stored in it. The interface lets you access all data from the ads posted on social issues, elections, or politics.

You can access this information provided the Library is still active in the country of interest. Such active countries include the United States, Brazil, EU countries, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

You will have access to information such as total spent amount, impressions, performance data, demographics of reached people, & the date of the ad running.

How To Find Ads Within The Facebook Ad Library

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

6 Strategic Ways For Marketers To Leverage Facebook Ad Library

Now that you know the basics of how to use the Facebook Ad Library let's talk about some clever ways to leverage this Ad Library to enrich your marketing strategy.

Take Inspiration

Pay close attention to every ad for a swift amount of creativity if you have ever faced an advertiser's drawback. You can search several competitors & peek in at the graphics, images, & videos to draw inspiration and see what they are bringing out. This can aid you in producing your own persuasive ads. So heads up, because it's always better to stay original!

Some questions to think about during this exercise are:

  • What images are your competitors using that get you excited about their message?
  • What different kinds of feelings are they trying to convey to their audience?
  • Do they follow a theme or particular messaging in their copy?
  • Are they using objection busters in their images?
  • Do they use still images, videos, or GIFs? Or do they use a combination of styles?

Strategic Ways For Marketers To Leverage Facebook Ad Library

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

Take Notes Of What Comes In Useful

Suppose your competitors are having prospering monthly achievements. You may look up to their ads in the Facebook Ad Library to see how they gain their audience's attention. Take regular notes of the content they are producing & at which time they are doing it by using the Library's filters.

Uncover New Clients

Another method of using the Facebook Ad Library is to seek out what isn't there. Let's suppose there's a business that you are a major fan of & you look them up in the Library. You come to know that they are using Facebook ads but not Instagram ads. Then, this is a chance for your business to aim at & remind them what you can do for their business. In fact, you may even use the Library to present to them what their competitors are producing to persuade them.

Strategic Ways For Marketers To Leverage Facebook Ad Library

Keep Track Of Advertising Trends

Trends always keep changing. While some of these are extremely prospering, the other ones fall short of goals. To keep up with these trends, you should give your attention to campaigns running around trends through the Facebook Ad Library. For example, if you realize a standard trend running among a pair of your competitors, you should try those trends for your own brand as well.

Reverse Engineer A Funnel

You might have a finely tuned sales funnel built for your own ads. You might also know that not all ads are crafted with the same purpose & audience in mind. Hence there's a lot more information to gather by looking through a competitor's ad than just going through the ad details.

Strategic Ways For Marketers To Leverage Facebook Ad Library

Image Source: Facebook Ad Library

You can use the Facebook Ad Library to research how your competitors build sales funnels. While analyzing the ads, try to pull out information that helps you figure out how their sales funnel is set up & how it compares to your own one.

Consider asking these questions to yourself:

  • How unique & personalized are the pages?
  • What landing pages are they using?
  • Which page of their funnel is performing well?
  • What components are doing well on their page?
  • What's missing from their pages?
  • Are they providing any special offers or discounts?

Search By Product & Keyword

You can use the Facebook Ad Library to research ads for specific types of products & keywords. If you are selling jeans, type 'jeans' into the search bar to pull up ads with 'jeans' in their name.

This search will give you a random sampling of ads related to jeans. If you want to get more granular with your search, use the Facebook Ad Library to do a little keyword research.

Strategic Ways For Marketers To Leverage Facebook Ad Library

You may ask yourself these questions while doing keyword research:

  • Which keywords have you been targeting in your marketing?
  • Who else is targeting the same keyword?
  • How are they using these keywords in their ads?
  • In comparison to them, do your ads stand out or blend in?

For instance, if you regularly use stock images in your ad creative, you may be concerned that your competitors are also using the same images in their ads. In that case, you may need to change your ad creative to differentiate your ads from the rest.

Remember, the more specific keywords you can think of, the better results you will get in your searches.

Making The Most Of The Facebook Ad Library

It's incredibly hard to create a successful marketing campaign. But this fantastic tool by Meta can make your life easier. The most important part of using the Facebook Ad Library lies in understanding it. If you understand precisely how the information provided by the Library relates to your campaign, your path can become super clear. You will find yourself at the head of a successful campaign with in-depth market research.

If you haven't yet tried out Facebook Ad Library, you should proceed immediately to get helpful insight into what other brands are up to with their ads.

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in writing research-driven blog posts around marketing for B2B SaaS brands.

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