How to Spy on Your Competitors Facebook Ads - 2023 Facebook Ad Spy Guide

Zachary Murray

Get the most out of the Facebook Ad Library by using it to take a look at your competitor’s ads, gaining inspiration for ad creative ideas. Supercharge this process by using our platform, Foreplay to permanently save ads that you like, something you cannot do using the Ad Library alone.

facebook logo inside a surveillance camera

From the moment you launch your first Facebook ad all the way up until you are a seasoned vet, the journey of building your brand using Facebook is a roller coaster full of ever-changing variables.

After the changes that came to Facebook Ads with iOS 14, many businesses turned to TikTok advertising, but Facebook ad campaigns can still be wildly successful if you focus on creative.

“Pre-iOS14, creative was important. The Post-iOS14 world? Creative is everything. But getting it at scale is a real pain point” - Cody Wittick, CEO"

You now need to be creating, testing, and iterating ad creatives at scale, but this can be a major weight on you and your team. The most important tool to scaling creative production is good inspiration/ideas and the best place to get that is your competition. You should not feel bad about the best strategy for sourcing this inspiration, which is to spy on your competitor’s ads.

Why should you spy on your competitor’s ads?

Firstly, your competition is probably spying on you - it’s time to level the playing field! Achieving a level of competitive intelligence is crucial if you want to achieve success in saturated or competitive industries such as eCommerce, here are the top 3 reasons why spying on your competitors is important to generating new ad creatives in 2022.

  • Get Niche Ideas. Looking at your competitor ads may open your eyes to a different target audience or niche using your product in an unexpected way.
  • Use their Money. They are trying to solve the same problem as you, spending time and money. Use their findings to fast-track your success.
  • Competitor Analysis. The marketing department is one of the fastest-evolving in any industry, building systems around competitor analysis is imperative to staying ahead of the curve.

Better Delegation/Communication. The best way to tell a video editor or graphic designer what you are looking for is to share a clear example - and there is no better example than your competition.

How to Spy On Your Competition for Free?

Thankfully, you don’t need to use any sketchy website or tools to spy on Facebook ads. In 2018 Facebook launched its own tool called Ad Library to provide political transparency. Luckily, this feature has now trickled down to all advertisers and the best part is it is a 100% Free way to be a competitive spy!

How to use Facebook Ad Library

Facebook Ads Library

1. Setup Your Browser + Search Settings

If you are using an AdBlocker, you need to disable it to see search results (Alternatively, you could open an incognito window). From there, we recommend making your search as broad as possible (Country = All, Ad Type =All Ads) This will result in a better view of your competition's full marketing efforts while making some of the displayed metrics more accurate such as impressions.

Set up Facebook fan page

2. Find the Facebook Page

You can use the search bar to find your competitors, however, sometimes the search bar is a bit glitchy. In that case, we recommend going directly to the Facebook page, scroll to the “Page Transparency” section, clicking “See All” and the “Go to Ad Library. This will redirect you to the library for that brand.

3. Begin your Research

Now comes the fun part, you are looking at all the ads your competitors are running, like magic! You can see videos, images, carousels, call to action, platform, etc. If you find something you like, copy the link and share it with your team… but that link will probably be broken in 24 hours… keep reading.

Supercharge Facebook Ad Library

Although we are all thankful for the Facebook Ad library as a tool, it doesn’t come without its limitations. The one we feel the most is the inability to save or share ads for future reference. Although you can share links, they expire within 24 hours or whenever the brand makes a change to the campaign.

To fix this problem, there is a cool free tool called Foreplay which puts the Facebook Ad Library on steroids.

To use Foreplay, enter the link from the Facebook Ad Library to save it to your personal board. This will download the video to your own dashboard, meaning the link will never expire! From there, Addison lets you make additional boards for better organization, which is especially useful when planning a campaign or for marketing agencies sending inspiration to their clients.

It is amazing how much you can learn about your facebook competitor ads using free tools! Take some time to research ad creative so you can supercharge your Facebook Ad growth!

Zachary Murray
Founder of
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