Difference between Active, Learning and Learning Limited

Active, learning limited or learning are terms used in Facebook advertising to describe a phase where the ad sets are still trying to figure out the best way to find people that might be interested in them.


During the learning phase, you might see some changes in how much it costs to get people to take the action you want, like buying something or clicking a link. That is normal. 

To exit the learning phase, you need to have 50 people take the action you want in a week. This can be hard to do when you are trying to sell something, so it's important to have a realistic budget.

If you make significant changes to your ads during or after the learning phase, like changing who you're targeting or what your ad looks like, you might have to go through the learning phase again. This can make your ads less stable and cost more.  To find out what Meta considers a significant edit, click here:

NOTE: This is why I always suggest duplicating your campaign and making a change to the ad set or ad in the duplicate. That way you never accidentally take an ad set out of the learning phase. 

Learning Limited: 

If your ads don't exit the learning phase, it's called "learning limited". 

Learning limited isn’t a penalty – it’s an indication that your budget isn’t being spent effectively because the ad delivery system can’t optimize performance with your current setup. Your ads will still run, but they might not be as optimized as they could be. 

NOTE: It's 100% okay to keep running these ads if they're still making you money.


An active campaign means that the algorithm has learned a lot about who your ideal customers or clients are and has gathered enough data to reliably show your ad set to them. This means that the cost and performance of your ads should be more stable and predictable than during the learning phase.

You can check if your ad set is active or still in the learning phase by looking at the "Delivery" column in Facebook Ads Manager. If your campaign is still in the learning phase, it will say "Learning Limited" or "Learning" in this column. If your campaign is active, it will say "Active".