As of this week, it’s free and TOTALLY EASY to spy on your competition. Facebook just rolled out a way to see ANY Facebook Page’s ads.
Starting immediately, it’s now incredibly simple to find competitors Facebook ads and see exactly what sorts of creative and copy they’re using.
It’s almost like your very own Facebook ads gallery, where you can go window shopping to see what your competitors are doing.
How to see any Facebook Page’s ads
It could not be simpler. Just add “/ads/” after the page’s URL.
That’s all it takes!
Ok, but why?
Do any Google search for “social ad spy” or “spy on competitors ads” and you’ll see that there’s already a huge demand for this.
There’s even significant search volume for people looking for an ad spy tool.
I’m sure Facebook must have considered that when they built this function, but the pros must outweigh the cons—and I agree.
Facebook ad search? Can we get so lucky?
The Facebook Ad viewer so far only goes page-by-page, so there’s no built-in search functionality.
Million dollar idea: build one.
That means this is not, for the time being anyway, going to be a WhichAdsWork alternative.
And the market needs something like this, too. Adsvantage, one of the major tools that offers this, starts at about $200 + $97/mo.
What about AdEspresso Facebook Ads?
Yea, totally. AdEspresso Facebook Ads gallery does a great job of this already.
Their database has a ton of Facebook ad examples, ad types, video ad examples— just about everything you’d need for some Facebook ad inspiration (wink!)
But this is another level. The Facebook Ad Spy—catchy, right?—is in real time, and it’s as accurate as we can ever hope for. Straight from the source.
Social Ad Scout does a great job, too. (That’s what comes up when you google stuff like “facebook ad spy tool 2018″— further convincing me that marketers are going to eat this up!)
But those same search trends also show searches for “facebook spy tool free” and neither AdEspresso nor Social Ad Scout are free (nor should they be).
But this is.
What it’s not
It’s not everything. It does have some major limitations. Mostly it’s not a Facebook ad intelligence spy tool. You can spy on competitors’ Facebook ads, but you can’t see any performance data.
Again, nor should you.
To my knowledge, Facebook’s new tool is the only native ad spy tool out there.
Other tools that do this… kinda
Lots of free and paid keyword spy tools and more ad-focused PPC competitor tools like Spyfu have made big business selling online competitor analysis.
iSpionage, SEMrush, Adplexity, Adspy, SEranking, etc— all these free ad spy tools have attempted to do this for years. And many of them come very close.
Spyfu happens to be my favorite, but that’s because of its Google Ads data.
The people have been demanding a Facebook ad searcher or some other method to search fFacebook ads for years.
Should you target competitors?
We all know how to target fans of certain pages with Facebook’s Ad Manager. That has become one of the standard Facebook advertising tips lately.
But “Facebook marketing,” if that can be its own thing, is more than just targeting your competitors’ fans in your audience.
A true Facebook marketing strategy, while it may be influenced by your competitors’ Facebook ads, is way more than just knowing how to create a Facebook ad and show it to the right people.
Why did Facebook do this?
They’re calling it A New Level of Transparency for Ads and Pages. Their take on it is about transparency and abuse of their system.
You can nowsee the ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and our partner network, even if those ads aren’t shown to you.
“We’ve seen that bad actors can misuse our products” — yea, no kidding.
By shining a bright light on all ads, as well as the Pages that run them, we’ll make it easier to root out abuse.