Facebook has built possibly the most powerful targeted advertising machine of all time, but a marketing worker has shared a clever hack that lets you make that machine work for you for a change.

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where Facebook data was used to build in-depth profiles of tens of millions of people and then target them with political advertising that may have swayed the 2016 US election, Facebook was forced to introduce the Ad Library feature, which lets you see details about political advertising.

The ad library also shows ads taken out on the Instagram platform Facebook also owns.
But it's not limited to just political advertising.

The easiest way to get to the Ad Library is by Googling it.

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A drop down menu to the left of the search bar lets you check out ads taken out by business pages by searching the name of its page.

A search of online clothing retailer The Iconic shows a few active deals for first time shoppers. Photo / Facebook
A search of online clothing retailer The Iconic shows a few active deals for first time shoppers. Photo / Facebook

Since many companies will advertise promotions and campaigns on their Facebook pages, the ad library essentially creates a searchable archive of deals.

Only active campaigns by businesses show up on the ad library, but advertisements for political or social issues are supposed to be kept even after the campaigns end.

That doesn't always happen.

Less than 48 hours before last year's UK election, around 60,000 political ads disappeared according to the Financial Times, robbing Britons of the ability to see how much parties and candidates were spending on advertising and who they were targeting with it.