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How to Use Facebook Ads Library to Spy on Competition & Make Better Ads

Facebook Ads Library has a repository of active and inactive ads across Facebook Products.
You can also search for inactive ads on issues, elections or politics.
To search for something, you either have to type in a keyword or the name of the advertiser in the search box.

Improve Ads with Facebook Ads Library

But, what if you want to search the whole library. When we hit space, the search results do not appear. It means the tool does not recognize an empty field. So we need to type in something to see all the ads. Here is what you can do.
Go to zero width joiner. It joins two or more characters together to create an emoji. Copy the emoji and paste it into the library search box.
And, now you will be able to see all the active ads from across Facebook Products.
For specific searches, you can search by advertisers or keywords.

Facebook Ads Library comes as a handy tool to understand what your competitors are up to and apply the learnings in your ad marketing strategy.
For instance, we look up to check active Facebook ads run by Flipkart.
We found many, one of them is this.

How to Use Facebook Ads Library

The Ads Library can help you understand the product pricing of your competitors.
Clicking on ‘See ad details’ will show you more details about the ad and its business page.

This ad has six versions.
It means, on Facebook Advertising Library, you can see even multiple versions of the ad used by the advertiser, all at once.

This way, you can check ad sets of your competitors, niche businesses and take learnings from them.
Clicking on the CTA ‘Shop Now’ will direct you to the product’s ad’s landing page.

From there, you can pull out landing page elements that are doing well in their campaign and use them in your campaign.

So far, we have learned how we gather insights from our competitors' ads, using Ads Library. Now let us understand how to apply them in creating better ads.

Facebook Ads Library Walkthrough

To start, you can make a list of your top 5 competitors. Search for their ads in the library and make a note of the elements you find useful. You do it for the factors like:

1. Filter ads by impressions

Make Better Ads using Facebook Ads Library

Filter your ads by date. You can see what ads have received impressions in the selected date range.

2. Make sense of ad duration

Check Competitor Ads using Facebook Ads Library

One good way to know if the ad performed well or not is to check its launch date. We saw this active ad in the last week of December. The campaign started on 2 Nov 2021.

Also, the ad has 24 ad versions inside the ad set.

They point out that the ad is performing well.

That is why it is still active for close to 2 months and has multiple versions.

3. Analyze creatives and copies

Look at the copy and graphics of ads you think are performing well. Take notes of what is resonating with the audience. See if you can apply some of the elements from their creatives into your own design. 

If you see a lead generation campaign, you can click on “see additional assets from this ad” to see more information about: Contact form, registration or sign-up opportunities from the advertiser.

To quickly take and share a screenshot of your favourite ads, you can use this free tool.

4. Learn what is in demand

By looking into your competitors’ ads, determine what elements are common in their best ads. You might want to include them or differentiate from them in your ad campaign to cash on the trends.

5. Search report

If you click on Facebook Library Report, it gives the top searches from the past week. That might help you create an ad based on the highest searches.

Tip: Create a sheet maintaining data of your competitors. Click here to download this free worksheet for the same.

And, that is how you can make better ads by looking into your competitors’ ads in Facebook Advertising Library.

In the next section, we will help answer some of the most common queries about FB Ads Library.

Frequently asked questions about Facebook Ads Library

Do I need a Facebook account to use the Ads Library?

Facebook Ads Library is kept open for everyone. However, you need to log in to your account to see additional ad reporting details.

How are ads about social issues, elections or politics identified on Facebook?

Identify political and social issues ads by the ‘Paid for by’ disclaimer on Facebook. It provides the ad sponsor name as well. It also discloses data on ad spend, the number of impressions received, demographics and ad location for political and special category ads.

How to Identify Political Facebook Ads

How long does it take for an ad to show up in the Ads Library?

Ads will appear within 24 hours from the moment it hits one impression. Any further changes to the ad also appear within 24 hours.

How does Facebook decide which ads to show me?

Facebook shows you ads based on your interest, browsing behaviour, demographics and more such factors.

In addition, it targets ads to people from the database of the advertiser/Facebook partner. It can even show ads based on your activity on websites and apps outside Facebook. Learn more about it here.

Tip : Sometimes, Facebook’s advertising tools may not function properly if your ad blocker is turned on in the browser. So turn it off to get unhindered access to FB Ads Library.


Facebook Ads Library offers a great opportunity to learn from the success of others' ads and apply those learnings to your own campaigns. Get started now!