On March 28, 2019, Facebook announced the release of its Ads Library to forever change the trajectory of how creative production evolves. Suddenly, everyone got a chance to peek at advertising creative kitchens and learn what other marketers are strategically up to. On top of that, the service is free. However, despite Facebook’s major launch, independent inspiration libraries have been popping up ever since. So why would someone in their sane mind choose to go head to head with a titan like Facebook? And why on earth would people choose to pay for a 3rd party library?

The last years of Facebook

The emergence of Facebook Ads Library didn’t appear to be a part of a long-term strategic plan. Before getting under the Meta umbrella, Facebook consistently took reputational hits. From 2015’s Cambridge Analytica to #DeleteFacebook culmination in 2018 and beyond, the media giant made a good deal of moves to address privacy and transparency issues. The release of the Ads Library seems to be a partial response to those ongoing developments, with plenty of arguments to back the statement. For example, the library was (and is) heavy on features around legislative compliance and reporting, as well as tools for political and social issues (the bulk of APIs functionality is limited to those categories too). All of the above signals that Facebook Ads Library was never built with designers and marketers in mind in the first place. That’s why there’s a massive segment of people gravitating towards alternative solutions…

When Facebook Ads Library is not enough

Using Facebook Ads Library for practical, creative inspiration and analysis leaves much to be desired. Sure enough, you can still make good use of it (very often at a hidden cost of more time and effort). So, to make it clear, the majority of 3rd party libraries out there, including Effortlessly.io, do not aspire to replace Facebook’s library, but to enrich and complement the way people discover inspiration content. The craving for a more sophisticated experience has been building up for a while, and here’s why:

Do not drown in overabundance

There are over 10 million advertisers on Facebook as of October 2021, which means you’ll have to navigate through hundreds of millions of ads. You are doomed to see a ton of average ads, myriads of repetitive ad versions, and an ocean of simply irrelevant, poor-quality stuff. At Effortlessly we recognize that and address the problem by focusing on quality over quantity, so you can browse the ads by trusted innovative organizations (mostly backed by prominent venture capitals like Sequoia, Y Combinator, etc.). These organizations are inherently more likely to shine at creative advertising, making up a better creative repository compared to the entire pool of 10M+ advertisers. Think about it, where will you have a better catch: a well-maintained private pond or a crowded downtown pier?

Who else likes scrolling past dozens of identical ads in Facebook’s Library?
Ads disappearing from the Facebook library is a known issue with no fix on the horizon

One size fits none

We don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ formula for producing effective visual ads, because success comes from a combination of ingredients. The two reasonably effective ads may look and feel completely different depending on the industry, target audience, campaign goals, a point in customer journey, even creative production budget, not to mention a dozen of other aspects. That’s why we came up with a curation framework to help you find exactly what you are looking for, faster.

At Effortlessly we categorize ads by:

  • Creative concepts (e.g. unboxing, product in use, eBook) to help you cruise through your next creative and campaign brainstorming.
  • Style features (e.g. illustrations, typography, stop motion) to help you discover fresh visualization ideas.
  • Meta parameters (e.g. size, format, color theme) to support you when creating for specific technical contexts.
  • Experimental parameters (e.g. ‘benefit’ that assigns the type of benefit(s) the ad is communicating – functional benefit, emotional benefit, feature benefit or a mix of those) to improve your search results even further.
A sneak peak of categorization in Effortlessly ads library

How does Facebook Ads library stack against it? With its current functionality (as of Q1 2022), it barely scratches the surface of the aspects above, while effectively ignoring most of them.

What Facebook Ads Library won’t teach you

At Effortlessly we want you to improve at paid media creative, and consistent improvement is not possible without consistent learning. That’s why we enrich the library with business info, put together educational content and much more…

Organization info, quick links, and more goodies to provide a better context
Become an expert at creative advertising with bite size lessons
Create ads faster with templates and kits for Figma, Sketch and Photoshop
Learn a trick or two from our members-only blog posts.

The ad world beyond Facebook

What about other platforms? Apart from FB network, we curate LinkedIn ads and actively work with our community to identify the next platform to add (as of January 2022, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter top the polls). Our longer-term goal is to cover all the major advertising platforms, something that’s obviously not happening on Facebook.

Ready to upgrade your ads creative game?