Complete Guide: Master The Facebook Ad Library in 2023

Complete Guide: Master The Facebook Ad Library in 2023

Learn how to make the most of the Facebook Ads Library to spy on your competitors and inspire high-performing ads.

Jan 15, 2023
Table of Contents
Access 110k winning ads
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George Howes
Access 110k winning ads
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Gone are the days of boring, generic Facebook ads cluttering up your feed. With User Generated Content (UGC) playing an increasingly important role as a tool to captivate viewers and spread brand messages far and wide, it's critical to know how to use Facebook Ad Library in order to inspire performance creative that really works.

This article is the perfect guide to ensuring you can take advantage of this powerful tool in 2023. We'll cover using the Facebook ads library to research ads, save ads and build a library of creative inspiration for your brand.

Why Should You Take Advantage of the Facebook Ad Library?

Launched in 2019, The Facebook Ad Library's primary purpose was to boost marketing transparency after criticism of Facebook's influence in election campaigns after millions of dollars were poured into political ads on Facebook. The Facebook Ad Library allows you to see all the active ads from any advertiser on Facebook, unlocking a whole range of opportunities.

See What Ads Your Competitors Are Running

The Facebook Ad Library has opened up the curtains on the active ads that any brand is currently running. Allowing business owners, creative directors and media buyers to have a holistic view of the active ad content by other brands in their niche, study what works best and implement that into their own ads.

Work Out Which Of Your Competitor's Ads Work

The Facebook Ad library doesn't let you see performance metrics for your competitor's ads, but there are still a few tricks you can use to help determine which ads are working for your competitors. Though this isn't a perfect science, be careful not to rely too much on it.

Keep Track of Your Competitors

Whether you're launching a new brand or working on a brand that's already been running ads, seeing all the ad creatives in your competitor's ad library is a huge tactical advantage for several reasons. Not only can you see the advertising that your competitors are running, but you'll also be able to keep track of new products or campaigns that they launch ahead of time.

Find Winning Ad Hooks

Ad hooks are an important aspect of advertising because they are the elements that capture the attention of the audience and make them want to engage with the ad. Ad hooks can take many forms, such as a striking visual or a relatable situation. It could be a question, a surprise, a challenge, a promise or a call to action.

Without an effective ad hook, the audience may overlook or ignore an ad. A strong ad hook can make the difference between an ad that is ignored and one that is remembered and acted upon. Ad hooks are an essential tool for advertisers to grab the attention of the audience and make a lasting impression.

The Facebook Ad Library is a great place to find ideas for ad hooks, don't limit yourself to looking for ad hooks in your own category or niche. Looking for inspiration outside of your own category helps keep things fresh and stops your ads from looking like your competitor's ads.

The Facebook ad library is the most important tool for competitor research when it comes to learning from competitors' ads and helping draw inspiration for your new campaign.

Inspire Better Creative

Additionally, using creative references can help break through the advertising landscape's clutter and noise. With so many ads competing for attention, creating ads that truly stand out can be challenging.  It also helps you to learn how to avoid common pitfalls and cliches that can make ads feel stale or uninteresting.

How To Find Competitor Ads

Most of the time, you can find your competitor's ad library by entering the name of their Facebook page into the search bar. Ensure that you have the country filter set to the correct geographical location; otherwise, you can block the ad creative from appearing in the Facebook Ads Library. You'll want to select your competitor's brand name from the search bar rather than just searching for the brand name. Otherwise, you'll see ads from brands with similar names rather than one specific competitor.

Get Inspired

Using the Facebook Ad Library, you'll be able to see all ad creatives currently being sponsored and promoted on Facebook and Instagram. You'll be able to get inspired much faster than browsing through any other platform since all your competitor's ads are in one place. The Facebook ads library is the best place to find ads that work for a brand.

You can pinpoint your search by using the three main elements of the Facebook ad library.

What are the 3 Elements of the Facebook Ad Library?

Once you've opened the Facebook Ad Library, logged in, and looked at the search bar that appears, you'll find that it consists of 3 elements you need to keep in mind.

Country & Ad Category

You won't see any ads because you set a country (Don't worry, you can set it to worldwide search), as well as an ad category; while it might seem easier just to click (All ads) and be done with it, it's much better to pinpoint exactly what you're looking for by choosing a specific location.

Country and Ad Category of Facebook library
Search Ads View from Facebook Ad Library

Specific Keywords & Brands

Once that's done, you can begin typing in the search bar; if you're looking to keep a close eye on your competitor's ads, simply type their brand name, and every ad the company is currently running will show up. 

Specific Keywords & Brands on Facebook Ad library
Search Results from Facebook Ad Library

Alternatively, you can search for specific keywords that can help inspire you. For example, if you're going to run an ad campaign for a new line of sportswear, you can search for reverse weave sweatshirts.

Filtering Language, Platforms, & Impressions

Recently Facebook rolled out an advanced features filter, which allows you to further hyper-focus on what you want to see and not see. You can choose your language, advertiser, platform, and media type, as well as impressions by date and active status.

Facebook A library filters
Advanced Filters from Facebook Ad Library

However, while knowing all of the elements might help you reach exactly what you want to see, telling if an ad is performing well is an entirely different topic.

How Can You Tell if an ad is performing in the Facebook Ad Library?

Nowadays, everyone's become desensitised to traditional advertising practices, and as such, brands have resorted to using UGC to win over their audience, and it's been a huge success.

Ad performing in the Facebook Ad library
Keyword Search From Facebook Ad Library

You can use the Facebook ad library to analyse the active ads and start to work out which ads are the ones growing your competitor's brands.

Ad Date & Platform

Try looking at when the ad started running. If it's been running for a while, it's safe to say it's probably doing fairly well for the advertiser. Otherwise, they would have kept it running only some of this time. Though this method isn't completely bulletproof, as some advertisers might not be paying enough attention to their ad accounts and leaving poor performers live!

Manual & Automatic Features

If an ad uses multiple versions on the Facebook Ad Library, then it uses multiple formats, graphics, and even copy to reach its perfect audience.

Advertising Funnel Placement

Generally, you shouldn't assume that every ad targets someone who's never heard of the brand. Some ads use UTM parameters that can give you an idea of where an ad is on the advertising funnel.

If you see the word "Retargeting" on the URL, it's most likely targeting people who've already seen an initial ad, clicked on it, but didn't convert. In turn, that allows the advertiser to retarget them. It's safe to assume that their ad campaign is running well.

Why Save Facebook Ads?

While the Facebook Ad Library might seem like a super valuable tool for marketers and business owners alike, it does have one major disadvantage, any ads that are disabled or no longer running will disappear from the Facebook Ad Library. Something that could've instantly inspired you to create that winning ad that would place your brand in front of its perfect client? Gone.

This is why you need to save any ads that catch your attention. The ability to save Facebook ads straight into your library gives you the benefit of the Facebook ad library without having to worry about the disappearing act.

Also, when you save ads, sharing them with your team or clients becomes much easier as you can group them into folders and share a single link when you use a tool like MagicBrief. When you save videos from the Facebook Ads Library, they will download as a corrupt file, making it hard to save them to your computer for reference later on. In the following section, we'll go into more detail on how exactly to save ads.

How To Save Facebook Ads


By using MagicBrief, you'll be able to save ad references, analyze them by breaking them down into their base elements, and automatically rework them into your own brand.

Chrome Extension For Saving Ads

With MagicBrief Chrome's extension, you can download any ad, including variations, with just a single click. After that, you can automatically break down the saved ads into their keyframes, capturing key moments that you can use in your ad storyboard.

Save TikTok Ads

MagicBrief also works on the TikTok creative center, meaning you can save ads from Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all on the same platform using the same chrome extension. The extension works on all ad formats, video ads, static ads, carousel ads etc.

We hope this article helped you understand how to use the Facebook ad Library to gather valuable information from your competitor's ads.