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Facebook Ad Library [2023 Guide]

Since 2004 till date, Facebook remains one of the most sought-after social media platforms available. One factor that contributes to this is how the app is ever-changing and adapting to the changes in time.

By incorporating screen-time attractions from other media platforms and studying the latest trends, several developments are made over time to give its users a better experience. Among these innovations are ways for users to stay on top of their competition and interesting trends.

Facebook Ad Library

Now Meta has launched one such innovation. Is this feature open to all? Does it function as advertised? In this article, we will discuss the answers to these questions and more regarding Meta or Facebook Ad Library.

What Is The Facebook Ad Library?

As with most of Meta’s Facebook add-ons, the ad library is free and within the reach of all Facebook users. Like any other library, it is home to a certain collection of information. As an ad library, it contains records of ads. Are these ads only the ones run on Facebook? According to its algorithm, it gathers and renders details of all active advertisements running across every Meta platform.

In other words, starting a search on Facebook's Ad Library would render results from Facebook, Watch, Messenger, and the Meta Portal. Each ad in the library has a start date that is the day it gets its first impression. The library has no specific limits to how many search returns are displayed. Whatever ads fit your chosen criteria will be rendered in the search result.

Features Of The Ad Library

Customized keyword research

To access this, one needs to gain access to the Ad library API. Fortunately, the library's API is available in every country where the library is accessible. To use the API, one needs a “Meta-for-Developer’s” account.

A fair amount of coding knowledge is needed to try out various parameters in this area. With the right codes/parameters, this feature allows you to search for ads by audience reach, region, or using a specific period. Running the API is not possible alongside a functioning ad blocker. In other words, you must disable any ad blocker before you can search with the API.

Ad Details

When you make searches on the ad library, the category you select determines the details that are listed alongside the ads. For example, the all ads and housing ads sections have details including what Meta platforms house the ad, an estimate of the ad impressions, the unique ID of the ad, and how many impressions the ad has. However, with ads on social issues and politics, some details you can find include –

  1. Disclaimer: The disclaimer contains ad information including the individual or body paying for the ad. Although, the disclaimer might not contain this information if the ad developer(s) do not want to disclose it.

  2. Amount spent: Although no specific price is given, an estimated range of the price spent on each ad is displayed.

  3. Demographics: The demographic info on these ads contains the gender and age of individuals on whom the ad has impressions.

  4. Activity status: Unlike the other categories, Issues and elections ads can appear in searches even when they are no longer active. In cases like this, the ad library indicates the status of ads in this category.

  5. Disapproval status: If an ad, while running, is tagged disapproved, the ad library will also display this status by the ad.

  6. Location: You can learn of the region where the ad was run.

In addition to the above major features of Facebook ad library, other features are –

  • Reports are downloadable in CSV format.

  • The library is searchable for all.

How To Use Facebook Ad Library

There are three types of ads that are available for viewing on the Ad Library. They are general ads, housing ads, and politics & social issues-related ads. Each of these categories is accessed through almost similar steps on the ad library.

Every ad

These refer to ads outside the other two categories. Considering how results in this category are run by Facebook pages, the results are rendered in pages. To use the Ad Library to view all ads;

  • Launch the Ad library on your device

  • Regulate the results you would like to see using filters like country, start date, and the Meta platforms on which the as appeared.

  • Next, select All Ads under the drop-down labeled Ad category.

  • Enter your search query into the search box and tap search.

  • You can include filters next.

  • Click the option to see ad details for more information.

Politics and social issues-related ads

Ads under this category are mostly political and electoral ads. Ads in this category remain in the library for seven years. The ad library displays both inactive and active ads, stating the status of the ads. Ads in this field have a wide range of added details. For example, the demographics, amount spent, disclaimer, disapproval status, impressions, and location. Facebook and Instagram are Meta’s platforms that have this category of ads. Search results under this category are either rendered by page or certain phrases or keywords. To make searches in this category;

  • Launch the ad library

  • Choose a country

  • Tap the Issues, elections/politics option that is visible under the Ad category tab.

  • Input your query in the search box.

Housing ads

In terms of details displayed next to the ads, housing ads are similar to ads in the “All Ads” category. Results in this area can be sought by page or location (city or state). To access searches in this category;

  • Visit the ad library

  • Select your country or any country of interest

  • Click on housing within the ad category tab.

  • Insert your query text into the search box and tap search.

Why Should You Use Facebook Ad Library

1. Learn from your competition

When you own a business in a somewhat competitive niche, data from competitors is always valuable. With the ad library, you can easily analyze your competitor's ads.

By viewing the ad library report, you can learn the estimated amount spent for the selected period by the advertiser, how many ads that advertiser has listed in the library (either throughout or for a specific period), the highest advertiser spend per region, and the top search queries weekly. You can also learn about the right media to include in your ad campaigns.

2. Get a better outreach

Getting your ad on the ad library would serve as an extra way to get individuals to view your ads. Facebook's ad library tags ads that have multiple versions.

Final Thoughts

Viewing data from your competition not only helps you make your ads better and more audience-specific. Data from the ad library also helps you check to ensure that you do not launch ads/sales at the same time as competitors to prevent loss of traffic.

As an easy-to-use app, everyone can make use of the Facebook ad library. However, if you would like to enjoy the extra benefits of its API, a bit of coding experience is necessary. The ad library does not necessarily have to function to track competition. You could equally use this feature as a way to view all ads across Meta technologies for brands you are interested in.


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