How to Use FB Ad Library

Last Updated on August 9, 2021 by Melody Reyes

The FB ad library is a comprehensive and searchable library where you can see all currently running ads and inactive ads across Facebook and Instagram. If you are a content creator or in marketing, the FB Ad library is a great source of insight and inspiration from successful ad campaigns.

Read on to learn more about the FB Ad library and how you can use it for marketing.

Before we go into how you can use the FB ad library, let us first learn more about the FB Ad library and what information you can get from it.

What is the FB ad library

FB ads library logo

In May 2018, Facebook launched an archive of ads relating to politics. It was their way of providing transparency in response to the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, where its ads were used to interfere with the elections. In March 2019, they launched the FB ad library that provided transparency not only for political and issue ads but also all other ads on FB and its other platforms.

What details can you find in the FB ad library

The FB ad library lets you view the following:

  • All active and inactive ads up to seven years back across Facebook, Messenger, Audience Network, and Instagram;
  • Search by product
    • Ad details
      • When the ad started running
      • Icon of the platforms where the ad is running (Facebook, Messenger, Audience Network, and Instagram)
      • Ad ID
    • Other details
      • About Page
      • Page likes or Page followers
      • Link to all other ads of the Page
  • Search by Page
    • All active and inactive ads (up to 7 years back)
    • Number of results (total number of ads)
    • Page likes or followers
    • Page transparency:
      • Date of Page creation
      • Page name changes
      • Primary location country/region of the Page manager
  • Additional details for inactive ads:
    • Ad start and end date
    • Ad ID
    • Possible reach
    • Impressions
    • Amount spent
    • To whom the ad is/was shown (gender and age)
    • Where the ad is/was shown (region)
  • For social issues, elections, and political ads
    • All active and inactive ads (up to 7 years back)
    • Ad details for both active and inactive ads:
      • Ad start and end date
      • Ad ID
      • Funder
      • Possible reach
      • Impressions
      • Amount spent
      • To whom the ad is/was shown (gender and age)
      • Where the ad is/was shown (region)
    • About Page:
      • Page likes and followers
      • Total spending of the Page on social, election, and political issue ads
      • Recent spend on social, election, and political issue ads

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How to use the FB ad library

Even if you don’t have an account with any of Facebook’s platforms, you can still access the FB ad library. If you have an account, you don’t even need to log in to use the library.

To use the FB ad library, go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/library. Once there, follow these steps:

FB Ads library
  1. Select the country you want to search. You may also choose “everything” if you do not wish to use the country filter.
  2. Choose the ad category you want to view. You may pick “All Ads” or “Issues, Elections or Politics.”
  3. Finally, enter the keyword (product or service) or advertiser you want to search.

You will then see a display of the active and inactive ads running based on your search details. They are displayed based on the month they are launched. The latest ads are shown first. 

This is how the result looks like:

FB ads library- results

Filters 

On the upper right portion of the results page, you will find a button for filter. You can use it to narrow down your results and generate the most useful ads you need. You can filter by language, advertiser, platform, media type, status, and impressions by date.

FB ads library - filter

If you want to view an ad directly on the platform it appears, you can click on the three-dot menu on the upper right portion of the specific ad result. Then, click “Copy the Ad Link” and paste the link on your browser to view the actual ad.

Copy Ad Link - FB ads library

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How the FB Ad Library can help your business

The FB ad library can help your business create effective ads using any or all of Facebook’s platforms.

1. Inspire

You can use both running and inactive campaigns as your inspiration for creating successful ads. You can study your competitors’ layout, choice of words, images used, and how all their advertising elements come together. You can also explore the demographic information of the ads in your industry to target your ads to the right audience effectively.

2. Monitor

Studying competitors’ strategies is one way to get ahead in your industry. You can use the FB ad library to monitor your competitors’ marketing activities. You can ask the following questions:

  • What promotions are my competitors offering?
  • What new products/services are they introducing?
  • Who are they specifically targeting?
  • What FB platforms are they using?
  • How often are they advertising?
  • How much are they spending on their ads?
  • How many users have they reached?

Monitoring competitor ads will also allow you to study new trends, as well as techniques that are most likely shunned by your target audience.

In simple terms, the Fb ad library can help your business create successful ads by giving you inspiration and insight from competitor ads. This way, you can get ahead of the industry competition.

For more social media topics, click here: Social Media.

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