Facebook Competitor Research Just Got Easier

In the past year or so, Facebook has been on a mission to increase transparency. One of their big pushes has been to show what ads an advertiser is running and who those ads are targeting. They just took that effort and turned it up to 11 with the launch of the Facebook Ads Library.

Introducing The Facebook Ad Library

This resource is available to anyone, with or without a Facebook account. With a simple search you can see all ads, from May 2018-today, that were related to politics or “issues of national importance”. This search can be done by country for specificity. And they also produce a snapshot report each week called the Ad Library Report that is fully downloadable.

Let’s take a look.

Ad Library Report

This is the report for the US during the week of March 31-April 6. You can see who’s spending the most:

As you can see, The Best of Enemies, a new movie, is the top advertiser for the week which means that movies are “issues of national importance”. But I digress. There are several politicians on the list as well as large companies like ExxonMobil. Let’s dig into what’s available for AIDS United.

The first page we see is the overview. It’s got some high-level stats and then lists all current active ads, followed by inactive ads. For some of these advertisers, you could scroll a long way. But the best stuff is when you click on a specific ad:

First off, you get the full ad. Text, image, CTA, links, everything. You get to see how much they’ve spent on this ad.

Then they proceed to tell you the age, gender and geographic breakdowns of the ad. So if you’re looking to put together some advertising yourself, you could see which age brackets might be best, which gender gets more impressions, and which states are getting the most impressions. For a national campaign like this, the geographic information is basically mimicking population, but for advertisers who localize, this will show you where they’re getting traction.


Facebook is giving away the farm when it comes to advertiser information for issues of national importance and political ads. Get in there and learn!

Have you tried this new feature? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!