How To Stalk Your Competitor’s Facebook Ads


Do you see great looking ads pass by your newsfeed and start saving these ads for future reference? Me too! I love seeing great ads on my newsfeed because they make me a better at making engaging and effective Facebook Ads.

Now, Facebook allows us to spy on our competitors currently running ads!

A lot of websites offer Ad Swipes, also known as templates, that you can use as a basis for Facebook Ads that are about to create for yourself or for a client. It just makes the job easier for us (not having to start from scratch)

Although most people know of this already, some don’t! The largest Ad Swipe database is on Facebook and I am going to show you how to spy your competitors’ ads and how to make the most out of it!

Through The Looking Glass

Facebook has made big efforts to increase transparency among advertisers and consumers. In this effort, they have added a section on all Facebook pages called “Page Transparency” — this used to be called “Info and Ads.”

When clicking clicking the “See More” button on the page Transparency section, anyone can see the active ads of that page. Aside from that, one can also see the countries to which the ads are ran, page history and a list of primary countries where page admins operate.

When looking deeper into the active ads, the date of ad launch is also indicated. This gives us information on how long the ad has been active. When an ad has been active for a while, it could be a sign that that ad has been yielding great results or as I would call it, “Swipe Worthy.”

Let’s have a look at my friend’s Barangay Ukay page (generating hundreds of thousands per month in thrift clothing retail), “Page Transparency” can easily be accessed like so…

Once you click on the “See More” button, you will see an array of information about the page and you may also click the “Go To Ad Library” button to look at their active ads.

Time to browse their active ads!

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to look at the engagement/comments of the ads (if allowed, it can be easily exploited by people who will steal leads by hijacking comment sections so this limitation is actually good for advertisers!)

On the bright side, you can see for how long they have been active and you may also click on the call to action buttons to check where they lead. (Except for Messages Ads)

Opportunities and Limitations for Spying Competitors’ ads

Now this might feel like a hack of some sort but not really! The playing field is equal because other marketers can also spy on your ads. There are things that you can see but there are also things you can’t. Listed below:

What you can see:

  • Total Active Ads of any given page
  • Ad Creative (Image/Video)
  • Ad Copy
  • Countries where ads are targeted
  • Ad launch date
  • Ad destination (except for Messages objective)


  • You can’t see the exact audience targeting used
  • Ad budget
  • Ad engagement (Likes/Shares/Comments)
  • You can’t really know for sure if their ads are winning or failing

When You see A Lot Of Duplicate Ads on Their Ad Library

There are a lot of things on your competitors ads that you will not be able to spy on. But you might see multiple ads that have the same ad creative and ad copy. This usually means the this business is targeting multiple audiences OR split testing on multiple targets.

The Largest Facebook Ad Swipe Database

It’s like Google for Facebook Pages and Facebook Ads! You can type in a keyword relevant to a page you are working with and sometimes Facebook suggests a Facebook Page that you can potentially spy on. (Note: This feature is still buggy up until now. Meaning, sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.)

It is called the Facebook Ad Library.

For example, you are a local food business and you want to use big food brands as a peg for your own ads. You can simply type in competitor names on the search bar. Since they are bigger brands, they will surely have active ads worth swiping.

That’s it! Always remember, do not copy and paste what you see! Spy, get inspired and create your own version of it! Make sure that you also follow these 6 Steps to Making Click-Worthy Facebook Ads.

I hope you learn something out of this article, I hope you apply it as soon as you can! Share it to a friend who might find this useful or comment if you have questions!

PS. Not all competitors are running GREAT Facebook Ads (some would actually suck!) so be vigilant about whose ads you spy on!

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