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How to use Facebook’s Ad Library for competitor research

When using social media in your marketing strategy, a tactical way to start is by identifying your competitors. This is a crucial step in helping your business grow and to understand how other businesses in your industry are reaching their audience.

In 2019, Facebook released the Ad Library which enables you to search for all current activity running on the platform. Here’s how to use this new tool to research your competitors’ ads…

What is the Ad Library?

Back in March last year, Facebook launched the Ad Library tool that allows anyone to search and view any ads currently running on Facebook and Instagram.

This was launched to promote further transparency on the social network after the 2016 presidential elections in America. As a result, you can now search for any active or inactive ads related to social issues, elections or politics since May 2018.

How can you use it for business?

Facilitating transparency with Facebook advertising not only reinforces the trust between brands and consumers but now enables you to easily evaluate and analyse ads from competitors.

To make this most of this library, you can filter ads by duration, media type, impressions and trends – which gives you an insight into what your competitors are doing and when.

A common issue faced by social media markers is understanding which ad formats work the best – and there are plenty to choose from. You can utilise the Ad Library by searching for your competitors, and the tool will show you which formats or types of media they’re using.

Facebook will even tell you when an ad has multiple versions running and what is different about each one. Generally, different media or messaging is being a/b tested in order to define which performs well when active.

How will this benefit my business?

As well as identifying which ad formats will work best for your business, the Ad Library allows you to filter specifics such as duration and the wording on the ad. This can give you an understanding of how and when they are engaging with their audience.

You can then apply what you’ve learnt from your competitors during your research and see how it works for your audience.

Our team of digital specialists can support your business with a Facebook strategy, providing best practice advice and guidance. If you’re looking to get started with paid social, we’d love to help! Get in touch with our team by sending us an email to

Abby Cooper - Modo25
Abby Cooper
Abby Cooper - Modo25
Abby Cooper

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