One of the most interesting tools that Facebook offers for advertising is the Facebook Ads Library. This tool gives us the opportunity to observe what the competition is doing, but by definition, it serves for greater transparency of advertising with political and social content. Interestingly, at the beginning of its existence, Facebook Ads Library allowed to see the ads of almost every advertiser in the Facebook Ads system, now it applies to entities with the highest expenses as well as those for which it was established – politicians and social organizations.

How does the Facebook Ads Library work?

The Ads Library is a place where you can easily search for ads displayed on Facebook products by other advertisers. You can use it to obtain information about the advertisements broadcast – especially those concerning the so-called sensitive issues such as politics or social issues. On the advertisers side, this requires verification by sending an identity document, and the advertisement displays information about the person or organization that pays for the advertisement.

Political and social issues

In the case of ads relating to social issues, elections, or politics, you can also search for inactive ads (which are no longer aired on Facebook products). This is a separate category for a reason, as in recent years there have been many doubts about the reliability of political advertising, especially in the context of elections. Facebook itself, when introducing the Facebook Ads Library, emphasizes: “Transparency is extremely important to us. To prevent interference with the election results, the Ads Library shows additional information about those ads, including who paid for the ad, what expenses were paid, and about the reach of the ad across different demographic groups. Ads are stored in the library for 7 years.”

Where do I look for the Ads Library?

The Ads Library can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ads/library.

Interestingly, the product was introduced in 2019 in the face of multiple abuses involving Facebook, including the most serious accusations of using Facebook advertising in 2015 in Donald Trump’s campaign for political gain. Thus, officially in the history of social networks, they have become one of the tools used in a political campaign. For those of you wanting to know more about it, I highly recommend the Netflix documentary Hacking the World.

Reports in the Ads Library

The Ads Library reports contain information such as:

  • an estimate of the total amount each advertiser spent
  • the total number of ads from this advertiser
  • the most popular phrases searched in a given week
  • the largest advertisers in a given country

Finally, a very interesting tidbit, which also shows how to use the Facebook Ads Library:

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 

And classically read on soon!

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