Do you know what your competition is up to? What strategies are they using for their Facebook ads to stand out? The good news is, you can replicate their success by taking advantage of Facebook ads spying tools.
This post is a compilation of tools that are both free and paid, in no particular order. But before we dive in, let’s start with the basics: What are Facebook ads spy tools and what advantages do they offer?
Note: If you’ve visited this post in the past, you may have noticed that we’ve changed the content. This is because most of the tools that were listed previously no longer exist.
What Are Facebook Ads Spying Tools?
Facebook ads spying tools uncover certain aspects of your competitor’s Facebook ads that you would not normally see without those tools. Some of the things that a spying tool will show you are your competition’s:
- Current live and past ads that performed well
- Ad copy
- Targeting options used (location, age group, etc.)
- Funnels and landing pages used for the ads
- When and how often their ads were viewed
Of course, the insights you gain may vary depending on your tool of choice. For example, while our tool ConnectExplore does not technically spy on competitor ads, it uncovers interests that your competitors don’t know about or have not used yet… which makes you the winner.
CHEAT SHEET: How To Reveal The *EXACT* Ad Targeting Your Competitor Is Using
Why Use Facebook Ads Spy Tools?
It’s no secret that the Facebook advertising landscape has become more competitive. Facebook announced that in the 2nd quarter of 2020, they had 9 million active advertisers — a huge increase from 7 million advertisers in the previous year.
With this in mind, it’s going to take a lot more work to run ads that resonate with your audience. Unless, of course, you have a tool that shows you what’s already working for other businesses in your industry/niche.
Facebook ads spy tools should not be used to copy and paste everything in your competitor’s campaigns. Make sure that you only use them to get inspired, extract valuable insights, and identify weaknesses in your competitors and new opportunities. All these will enable you to create better campaigns.
Check out the 11 tools below.
1. Facebook’s Ad Library
Facebook created the Facebook Ads Library in an effort to increase transparency after the 2016 US presidential elections. It’s a database of all active and inactive ads. Furthermore, these ads will stay within the ads library for 7 years.
What makes the ads library so valuable is that it’s open for everybody’s use. It provides lots of information for each ad such as impressions, multiple versions of an ad, when it started running, and the target landing page. You can also filter the ads by country and platform.
- You can easily search for any advertiser name or keyword
- See when a competitor’s Facebook page was created
- A useful tool for beginners and experienced advertisers alike
Swipe-Worthy is a great resource for finding various types of content to inspire your campaigns. Its featured niches include automotive, beauty, blogging, consulting, dating, food, real estate, and more.
To view only Facebook ads, enter “facebook ads” in the search bar or select “Facebook Ad” under All Types. If you sign-up for Swipe-Worthy’s newsletter, you’ll receive their latest swipes each week and be the first to know about any new additions.
- Each ad includes specific explanations as to why it worked and key takeaways
- Features swipes from influencers and leading companies
- Filter by niche and content type conveniently
- Useful for finding ad copywriting inspiration
Poweradspy claims to be a powerful database of social ads for advertisers, media buyers, and agencies. So whether you’re running ads for yourself or doing it for clients, this tool has what it takes to help you outperform the competition.
With its millions of ads, you’ll be able to search for ads based on demographic data, location, comments, likes, and more. And if you’re focusing on Facebook video ads to increase engagement, Poweradspy shows you the best-performing video ads.
- Get detailed analytics of each ad
- Check what ad placement has worked well (News Feed, Right Column, etc.)
- Can also be used for other platforms like Google and Youtube (in case you run ads there)
Price: Free – $349/month
4. Social Ad Scout
Social Ad Scout boasts of millions of social ads from 21 countries including the US, UK, Australia, Netherlands, and France. It’s the ad spying tool you need if you’re looking for something very specific. With its detailed search filters, you can search an ad by its targeting, type, performance, and device.
Not only does the tool provide screenshots of each ad, but it’ll also allow you to interact with the live version of the ad. You can play video ads, for example.
- View ads on both desktop and mobile
- Check the recent interactions on each ad (comments, reactions, etc.)
- Be able to view ads that have already been deleted
- Save an ad as a “favorite”
Price: $97/month – $147/month
5. AdEspresso’s Facebook Ad Examples
AdEspresso’s Facebook Ad Examples isn’t technically a tool, but rather a huge collection of various Facebook ad types. It includes photo ads, video ads, and lead ads, to name a few.
All you need to do is click on a category so you can see ad examples from top brands and ad screenshots. Under each ad screenshot, AdEspresso includes a list of reasons why the ad was great.
- Links to the original ad so you can check the ad’s engagement and landing page
- Features leading companies like in different niches (digital marketing, food, entertainment, etc.)
- Additional resources at the bottom of the examples
AdPlexity is one of the best Facebook ads spying tools for uncovering ads across mobile, desktop, ecommerce, and more. Start by clicking “Choose your weapon” and AdPlexity will show you how the tool can boost your campaigns.
For example, AdPlexity Ecommerce lets you filter through over 70 million products on over 100,000 stores, check top trending products, and access store information. If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll probably need this kind of data to increase your products’ chances of selling.
- Search for ads that promote affiliate offers
- Review historical pricing changes
- Download competitor landing pages
- Find out which revenue-boosting apps are used by your competitors
Macaw lets you do a close examination of competitor ads. One of the best things about this tool is that it gives you free user access before committing to its paid version. As seen from the screenshot above, you can filter and sort ads based on format, call-to-action (CTA) type, timing, placement, location, and a lot more.
Whether you’re running the ads yourself or you own an agency, this tool provides lots of insights for advertising success. According to Macaw, companies like inDriver and AdSide Media are also using its service.
- Save time in finding and analyzing successful ads
- Benefits small businesses and large enterprises
- Macaw keeps its ads library updated
- It has a unique feature called “Most copied ads”
- Keeps inactive ads for up to 2 years
Price: $71/month – $89/month
ConnectExplore is one of our tools at Connectio. While ConnectExplore doesn’t show ads from your competition, it lets you find lucrative interests in any market that your competitors probably haven’t targeted yet.
After you enter one or more keywords, ConnectExplore shows you various interests in your niche. You can even uncover more interests by using search extensions. By doing this, you gain an unfair advantage over most advertisers in your space. Watch the demo here.
- One search can already reveal hundreds of interests
- Conveniently apply your searched interests to your Facebook ad sets
- The layering feature lets you target overlapping interests in your audience
- Beginner-friendly (features a simple dashboard and tutorials)
Price: $197 one-time payment (lifetime access)
SocialPeta is trusted by customers like Baidu, Alibaba Group, and Moonton. If you’re not just spying on Facebook ads but also ads on other social platforms, this is the tool for you. Empowering businesses to maximize their campaigns, SocialPeta provides over 5 million global advertiser data and materials.
What most Facebook ad spy tools don’t have that SocialPeta has is its ad cost analysis. It also continually updates its information so you can get fresh ideas every time you use it.
- Millions of ad creatives available to inspire your campaign
- Check ad performance by country
- Find out the audience size for any keyword
- Advanced filter and detailed graphs
Price: $99/month – $249/month
BigSpy is an easy-to-use Facebook ads spying tool for the ecommerce, gaming, and app industry. The ad details it provides include advertising quality and effectiveness, language, and target country. You can save a competitor’s ad, download it, and copy the ad text.
This tool may not be as advanced as other tools but if you’re already satisfied with basic information, then you’ll like BigSpy. Plus you can access its free plan that allows up to 5 queries each day.
- Mark an ad as a favorite and save it to your collection
- Be able to exclude an advertiser from your search
- Get a preview of ad stats such as likes, comments, shares, and heat score
- Online support for the pro and elite plans
Price: Free – $399/month
AdSector claims to give you a competitive advantage through its features like advanced search and filtering, image discovery, and detailed analytics. There are plenty of search options to try — you can even search by landing page URL and ad URL.
If you’re trying to understand your audience better, AdSector can uncover lots of details about your competitor’s audience targeting. This tool has been specially designed for affiliates and ecommerce advertisers.
- View and download competitor landing pages
- Filter by interests targeted
- Easy-to-understand graphs
Facebook advertising, when done right, can work so well for growing your business. However, you don’t succeed with FB ads by chance which is why research and experimentation help… including the use of Facebook ads spying tools that will show you what’s already working.
And remember, there is no one perfect tool. Give the tools on our list a try and see which simplifies your work best and meets your goals. If we missed a tool, feel free to suggest it in the comments section below.