ConnectExplore Review

You ended up on this page.

So I can assume you’re considering to purchase ConnectExplore, right?

I wrote this in-depth ConnectExplore review that highlights the pros and cons, reveals some slightly misleading sales copy and compares ConnectExplore to alternative Facebook interest tools.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What ConnectExplore is and which problem it solves.
  • How ConnectExplore uses Facebook’s API to interests.
  • Which ConnectExplore features add value and which don’t.
  • How to best use ConnectExplore in your Facebook campaigns.
  • Which ConnectExplore sales copy is slightly misleading…
  • Which alternative Facebook interest tools you should check.
  • And last but not least…a $urprise at the end…😉

How to read this article

If you’re just curious about ConnectExplore

  • Feel free to skim the headlines and learn whatever you like.

If you’re not actively considering to purchase ConnectExplore

  • You don’t need to know every little detail, just the general idea. 
  • Skip to our conclusion (and the $urprise at the end).
  • Bookmark this article for later reference.

If you’re actively considering to purchase ConnectExplore

  • Pay special attention to the section on features.
  • Don’t miss the pricing section, because there’s a “trick” in there.
  • Check out the 3 alternative Facebook interest tools.
  • Absolutely check out the green $urprise block at the very end…

OK, let’s dive right in.

What is ConnectExplore?

First things first.

You might be familiar already with ConnectExplore if you’ve read their long sales page.

Holy cow 🐄 it’s even longer than this in-depth review!

connectexplore salespage review

Let me quickly explain what it is, so we’re all on the same (long) page.

ConnectExplore is software that uses Facebook’s Marketing and Ads API to show targetable Facebook interests that are not available through Facebook’s own user interfaces like the Ads Manager and Facebook Audience Insights. 

The tool shows interests that can be targeted with Facebook ads, but that are not auto-populated in Facebook Ads Manager.

Also, when you connect your Facebook ad account, ConnectExplore let’s you publish the interests you’ve selected straight into your campaigns in Facebook Ads Manager.

So it’s software that makes smart use of Facebook API’s to reveal hidden interests and push these straight into your ad sets inside Facebook Ads Manager.

Which problem does ConnectExplore solve?

By showing data that would otherwise remain hidden, ConnectExplore provides an advantage to its users. Simply because most other advertisers don’t have access to it and won’t even know these interests are available for targeting.

And there are a lot of advertisers on Facebook. More than 10 million now! The ever increasing amount of competition has unleashed a bidding war.

That’s a big problem.

When Facebook decided to limit the number of interest suggestions they show to advertisers in the Facebook Ads Manager, the problem got even bigger.

Because Facebook Ads Manager shows just 25 interest suggestions related to a topic, they effectively steer advertisers to use these interests (most often these are broad interests, not hyper-targeted ones).

Let me give you an example.

Facebook Ads Manager shows just 25 suggestions for any keyword you enter into the Detailed Targeting field when creating an ad set.

Even when you input a broad interest like “Fitness”, Facebook will suggest just 25 related suggestions you can target.

facebook ads manager limited suggestions

And all 10 million advertisers get these exact same 25 suggestions.


Everyone is targeting the exact same interests = more bids for the same impressions = ad costs literally skyrocket 🚀

ConnectExplore helps by revealing interests that are not shown by Facebook but can be targeted with ads. These interests are hidden to most advertisers.

What is Connectio?

Connectio is the company behind the ConnectExplore software.

connectio logo

They’ve built not just ConnectExplore, but a full suite consisting of software products related to Facebook advertising (the ConnectSuite). 

The ConnectSuite currently consists of five tools:

All the products in the suite are valuable, they actually deserve their own review (I’ll make these if I find the time). In this review I’ll focus on ConnectExplore.

So for whom is ConnectExplore?

ConnectExplore is for anyone who runs Facebook ads, using interest targeting.

That’s the short version 😉

However, for certain business types it has a better use-case compared to others. In this section I’ll highlight some of the different user types that really benefit from using it.

Local businesses

When you’re running a local business or have local business clients as a marketer; you’ll definitely get positive ROI from ConnectExplore. While local businesses should always target specific geographic areas, they’re still competing against the bigger & nationwide brands – with a smaller budget.

To avoid ending up in a bidding war against the big players, local businesses should try to target interests with a higher relevancy & lower competition.

E-commerce sellers

When you’re running an e-commerce business, it’s all about testing. 

This applies to both “normal” e-commerce stores, but also to AliExpress drop shippers and POD stores. You’re always testing new angles to find profitable ones that can be scaled to big numbers later on. But because you’re constantly entering new niches, a large part of your success comes down to research and understanding the interests that people in these niche audiences share.

Affiliate marketers

When you’re an affiliate marketer or promote CPA offers, everything you do is a numbers game to acquire new leads & customers at a profit. Especially when running paid traffic to offers, you should quickly learn what works and what doesn’t in terms of targeted interests. When you’re active in competitive lead-generation niches, like real estate, you’ll pay the price when targeting the exact same audiences as all your competitors. And their moms. 

Sounds like magic, how does it work?

Connectio made smart use of Facebook API’s to create ConnectExplore.

There is no magic involved and anyone could essentially do this. But because most people are not developers, they’ve built a whole suite of software tools to enable non-developers to access data that normally requires dev skills.

It’s accepted use of Facebook’s Marketing and Ads API poured into a nice looking UI so it can be accessed easily by anyone. It’s NOT some illegal Facebook loophole that will risk your Facebook account getting banned.

There are also alternative tools offering the same functionality.

I’ll get to these later in this article. 

Want the nerd-version? Read on 🤓

Otherwise skip the next geeky sections.

Facebook’s Marketing API

Facebook offers a Marketing API. This API can be accessed by anyone. It requires users to create a so-called Facebook app (just a few clicks) and then it can be queried and return information. This API is used by ConnectExplore and alternative interest tools.

The Facebook Marketing API has two methods: “adinterest” and “adinterestsuggestions”.

These two methods can be used by developers to request information from Facebook.  A user queries the API and sends a keyword combined with either of these two API methods to Facebook. In turn, Facebook returns related interests that can be targeted.

This is what that looks like:

facebook api results

Long story short, there is no magic. This is what Facebook built it for.

On the ConnectExplore sales page it’s described a a magic sauce that’s not available to others, but that’s not true. Retrieving targetable interests through the Facebook Marketing API can be done by anyone with development skills. So in that regard ConnectExplore is not unique.

Facebook Ads API

A second API that is used by ConnectExplore is the Facebook Ads API.

Specifically the “ads_read” and “ads_management” features.

These allow users of ConnectExplore to connect their Facebook ad account to ConnectExplore and give the permission to manage it on their behalf. 

This API is also accessible for any developer to build a test project. To launch it on production Facebook needs to explicitly approve the use-case. ConnectExplore put in the effort to develop a test version of their product that they could submit to Facebook for approval.

And they were approved.

Connecting to the Facebook Ads API and your ad account, allows ConnectExplore to publish interests straight into your campaigns (saving you some copy-paste time). All the hidden interests that you’ll find using their interest search module can be pushed into new or existing ad sets in your Facebook Ads Manager.

ConnectExplore features

In this section we’ll dive deeper into ConnectExplore’s features.

I feel the explanation for most of these features on the ConnectExplore sales page is quite limited and only described from a sales-angle.

Because they don’t offer a free trial to try ConnectExplore yourself, this section of my review is very valuable when you’re considering to make a purchase.

I’ve purchased and used the tool myself, so I’ll try to explain every feature in detail while also explaining the use-case it applies to and show screenshots.

Find hidden interests

The main feature of ConnectExplore is to reveal relevant interests that can be targeted in your Facebook campaigns. But that are hidden in the Facebook Ads Manager. As explained before, it uses the Facebook Marketing API to get these interests related to any topic you enter into the tool. Facebook Ads Manager shows just 25 interest suggestions related to a topic you enter.

ConnectExplore shows you hundreds of related interests to target, related to any topic. While Ads Manager shows just 25 interests suggestions.

Remember the “Fitness” example? ConnectExplore returns 210 results.

That’s almost 200 more than Facebook.

connectexplore search

ConnectExplore uses a specific feature in Facebook’s Marketing API to verify that the interest can be targeted. This is a huge differentiator compared to for example Facebook Audience Insights that allows you to discover relevant interests / page likes (based on their affinity score).

Because as you know now… most can’t be targeted with ads.

Because Facebook makes changes and improvements all the time, it’s very useful that ConnectExplore checks real-time for every search if an interest can still be targeted. Not all alternative Facebook interest tools perform this check in real-time, some simply cache the (outdated) interests data on their server.

Automated suggestions

On the sales page of ConnectExplore automated suggestions are described as: “once you get an initial list of interests, ConnectExplore suggests an additional list of highly-related suggestions to target”. This is exactly what I described before in the blue “nerd-box” as the “adinterest” (initial list of interests) and the “adinterestsuggestion” (additional suggestions to target) API methods.

ConnectExplore shows you many targetable interests – related to any topic you’ve entered. While Facebook shows just 25 suggestions.

Search extensions

ConnectExplore offers a list of extension words that can be checked.

connectexplore search extensions

The example they give is “nurses”. This topic can be automatically combined with words like “association”, “federation” or “university” so that these combined keywords can also function as inputs for new interest searches. 

This is not a very useful feature in my opinion.

Most of these combined keywords would already show up in an initial search for the topic “nurses” anyway because a word like “nurses association” is highly relevant to the input keyword “nurses”.

I feel this feature is added as a filler, but in reality is doesn’t add much value.

Pre-analysing the quality of interests

This is the only feature that I truly don’t understand…

To me “pre-analysing” the quality of a targetable interest, would mean that ConnectExplore would need to access ad accounts of other advertisers that ran campaigns targeting this interests.

To see if they were succesfull for these advertisers.

That would be totally unacceptable, so I’m sure that’s not what they mean.

My assumption is that they mean that ConnectExplore checks against the Facebook Marketing API if an interest can be targeted with ads. That would be some sort of pre-analysis, but not necessarily of “quality” that would result in conversions (like leads or purchases).

If anyone gets it, let me know 🙏

Saving interests into projects

When you’re doing interest targeting research with ConnectExplore, you’ll discover many hidden interests that spark new ideas. But often you’ll want to save these and add to your list of finds later on. Therefore the Projects feature in ConnectExplore is a very valuable addition that distinguishes it also from some of the alternative Facebook interest tools.

For example when you’re running an e-commerce business in the “Dogs” niche, selling all kinds of dog related products, you could create a “Dogs” project to save all your interest finds.

connectexplore projects

Foreign languages support

Facebook supports many different languages.

When using the Facebook Marketing API a developer can specify the so-called “locale” to have Facebook return targetable interests in a specific language other than English. This reveals specific local language interests, but the total number of these interests will always be a lot smaller compared to the interests returned in English. Just to manage expectations.

connectexplore facebook languages

It’s a valuable feature when you’re targeting non-English speaking markets with your Facebook campaigns and it’s definitely a way to add hyper-targeted interests to your campaigns.

Push interests straight into your ad account

Next to the main feature of ConnectExplore, revealing hidden Facebook interests, the software also offers a unique set of features when you connect your ad Facebook account to it. By doing so, you’ll give ConnectExplore permission to push changes on your behalf.

This allows you to select interests in ConnectExplore and create a new campaign or ad set using these interests. Because ConnectExplore has permission to make changes in your Facebook ad account, the tool can create these ad sets for you automatically.

In this example I would add four “electronic dance music” related interests to one of my FB ad campaigns targeting this audience to sell an online course.

connectexplore apply to ad set

This feature is a time-saver.

Some of the other Facebook interest tools allow you to copy the interests so you can paste them into the Facebook Ads Manager yourself. Or they allow you to export your interest finds to a CSV file for later use.

Interest layering

The interest layering feature of ConnectExplore assists the “narrowing down” targeting feature in Facebook Ads Manager.

It’s presented a little bit misleading on the ConnectExplore sales page as if it’s a unique feature that’s not available outside of the software.

That’s not true…

Let me quickly show you how it works.

When you have a list of 12 interests related to a topic, let’s stay with the “electronic dance music” example, you can layer these to create an even more targeted audience. It means you’re creating 3 sets of 4 interests and you target them using the “narrowing down” feature of Facebook. The audience that you ad is shown too then needs to have 1 interest from the first set of 4 AND 1 interest from the second set of 4 AND 1 interest from the third set of 4.

So they need to have three different “electronic dance music” related interests instead of just one; making it hyper-targeted towards true dance lovers.

connectexplore layers

An interesting feature that ConnectExplore offers, is to randomly divide interests to layers. When you would add them yourself to 3 sets, it would probably also be random. But it’s nice to have ConnectExplore automatically randomise them. Next to the option to divide randomly, ConnectExplore also allows you to choose to divide based on audience size or targeting type.

How to use ConnectExplore

I think this review article differentiates itself from most other reviews.

Firstly because it’s more in-depth. Secondly, because I actually purchased this product myself and used it in my business. To help you picture how exactly this software can be used to run profitable campaigns, I’ll give you an example.

Note: I don’t claim this is the best or the only way to use ConnectExplore.

I sell a software product. My profit margin is approximately 95% – so that leaves quite some room to spend money on ads to acquire customers at a profit. 

That’s why I run Facebook ads.

Interest search

First I searched for hidden interests that are related to “digital marketing”, because the audience for my software product are digital marketers. Because there are many advertisers targeting this audience with different offers, it’s a highly competitive market to be in – and ad costs are very high as a result.

I found 39 interests that I liked and added them to a project.

connectexplore project overview

Campaign creation

Then I opened a project and clicked +Add Layer two times, so I would have a total of 3 layers in the project. In the Divide dropdown you can pick how you would like to divide the interests across the layers you’ve created. I’ve chosen to divide the interests randomly in three layers of 13 interests each.

connectexplore layering

Then you can push the interests straight into Facebook Ads Manager, but I don’t like to do this. I didn’t have the campaign setup yet, and wanted to complete that first within Ads Manager.

So I just selected ‘Copy interests manually’ in the left menu to copy the interests to my clipboard and then pasted them in my ad set targeting in Facebook Ads Manager.

connectexplore layering feature

I created an ad set in Facebook optimised for Purchase conversions and targeted US/UK/CA/AU, Facebook feed on desktop, English language, Men between 25-55 years old. This is a 100% cold-traffic campaign, therefore I am specific about these demographics to reach my ideal buyer persona.

Then in the Detailed targeting section I copied the first layer of interests – clicked ‘Narrow Further’ and copied the second layer of interests.

I repeated that a final time for the third layer.

So now, to see my ad people should like 1 interest from the first layer, 1 from the second layer AND 1 from the third layer. That’s laser-targeting 🎯

Facebook estimates this audience size at 280.000 people.

I set the budget at $5 per day and planned to let the campaign spend at least $100 before I would evaluate the performance and make any changes.


The campaign spent $120 when I evaluated it for the first time and took the screenshot below. It generated 6 purchases a a cost-per-purchase of $20.

facebook results

The purchase conversion value was $344, so a 2.86 return-on-ad-spend.

In my book that’s a great performance for 1) cold traffic 2) the internet marketing niche. The targeting was spot-on because out of 78 link clicks, 6 people converted and purchased the offer (a cold traffic conversion of 7.7%)

You can only hit these numbers when the targeting is spot-on.

ConnectExplore pricing

In this section we’ll dive into the pricing of ConnectExplore and some slightly misleading sales copy to watch our for…

Lifetime license

Currently ConnectExplore is sold as a lifetime license for $197.

connectexplore pricing

Since the launch of ConnectExplore a few years ago, they have been saying that the price will increase soon towards the target price of $297. 

In the checkout screen the $197 price is presented as $297 – $100 discount (excluding sales tax if applicable).

It’s promoted as a time-sensitive offer, while it’s not…

These are some of “pushy” emails I received about the “special limited-time offer” that was supposed to expire “soon”.

when does the special offer end

Despite these marketing tactics (I’m a bit allergic to this) I think at $197 lifetime it’s a great investment and definitely worth it in terms of ROI, because you’ll target low-competition interests and save ad costs.

I just really don’t like to be pushed I guess…

30-days money back guarantee

ConnectExplore offers a 30-day money back “no risk” guarantee.

connectexplore guarantee

I’ve tested this myself a few years ago when I first purchased ConnectExplore and requested a refund. At that time I wasn’t actively advertising on Facebook, so I bought the software but really didn’t use it. To me that was a waste of money I could invest better.

Without any questions asked I was refunded.

Partially because of this positive experience I decided to purchase it again later.


When Wilco de Kreij just started out, he didn’t have the whole ConnectSuite of Facebook related tools. Most of his software tools were sold as lifetime offer.

But when the number of tools increased he started offering them as a package, the ConnectSuite. The price for the whole suite is $97 /mo.

He offers the entire ConnectSuite for free for 30 days as a bonus with any ConnectExplore purchase, so you can try all his tools before buying.

The ConnectSuite currently consists of five tools:

Next to ConnectExplore, especially ConnectRetarget and ConnectAudience are valuable products. ConnectLeads is the only one I’ve never used myself, because I don’t use Facebook Lead Ads. 

As a bonus you can try all these tools for 30 days. And if you don’t like to keep the ConnectSuite after 30 days, you can just cancel the subscription and still keep lifetime access to your ConnectExplore purchase.

ConnectExplore alternatives

In this review I’ve tried to give an objective review of ConnectExplore.

I’m not entirely objective because inspired by ConnectExplore I’ve created an alternative Facebook interest tool. But I’m sure you’ve noticed in this review how positive I am about ConnectExplore – I really admire Wilco’s work and used ConnectExplore myself before I built my own software. I even recommend it to people over my own solution, depending on the use-case.

In this section I’ll make a comparison to alternative tools that also reveal hidden Facebook interests, so you have all the information to make your own decision.

And finally… there’s a $urprise at the end.


The first alternative Facebook interest tool is AdIntelligence.


It’s aimed mostly at e-commerce / dropshipping. Next to their Facebook interest search they also offer “ad search”, a feature to search e-commerce Facebook ads (based on Facebook Ad Library).

Their audience finder is the same as interest search in ConnectExplore, but with AdIntelligence you can do a few searches for free when you create an account. This tool doesn’t have the option to save interests into projects or layer them.

They sell both a monthly ($18) and annual ($99) plan. No lifetime licenses.

  • AdIntelligence also helps you to find hidden Facebook interests. 
  • AdIntelligence doesn’t connect to your Facebook ad account.
  • AdIntelligence only offers subscriptions, no lifetime licenses.
  • AdIntelligence includes an ad search feature for e-commerce.


The second ConnectExplore alternative is AdSightPro.


This software recently launched and their approach is very sales-y, like most products sold via the JVZoo marketplace. 

Their product is split into smaller pieces, to up-sell these in a sales funnel.

The first entry product is just $24.95 lifetime, but it includes only the option to search for interests and behaviors (doesn’t really make sense because there are no hidden Facebook behaviors…)

When you purchase this low cost front-end offer, you’ll be sent straight to the first up-sell page where they offer these additional product features:

  • Applying the interests you found straight into your Facebook account (like ConnectExplore does through the Facebook Ads API).
  • Creating interest layers (like ConnectExplore).
  • Keyword suggestions based on the topic you initially entered.
  • Saving interests into projects (like ConnectExplore).

This first up-sell costs an additional $67 lifetime.

Then you’ll be sent to another $67 up-sell which adds the ability to add users to your account and some other features related to managing client accounts.

  • AdSightPro starts cheap but adds up to $158,95 to get the full product. 
  • AdSightPro offers the same Facebook API connections as ConnectExplore. 
  • AdSightPro has a very sales-y approach, like all products on JVZoo.


The third and last ConnectExplore alternative is my own tool InterestExplorer.

interestexplorer homepage

When I first learned about Facebook API’s, I became really interested in the possibilities that these offer to develop value-adding tools on it. That’s when I quickly built and launched the first version. Then I iterated to add more features that I missed in ConnectExplore.

Our tool also offer interest search to find hidden Facebook interests and also supports projects and the easy layering of interests.

InterestExplorer is also connected to the Facebook Ads API (like ConnectExplore and AdSightPro) so you can push interests straight into your campaigns. Instead of having to manually copy-paste them into Facebook Ads Manager.

A difference with ConnectExplore is that InterestExplorer also offers an Extended license that allows to create 10 additional accounts for team members or sell, rent or give them to your clients.

InterestExplorer also comes with a full expert training (Interest Targeting Intensive).

It sells for $97 lifetime (Standard) or $147 (Extended).

  • InterestExplorer offers mostly the same functionality as ConnectExplore.
  • InterestExplorer also connects straight into your Facebook ad account.
  • InterestExplorer includes a 45-minute interest targeting masterclass.
  • InterestExplorer’s Extended license allows to invite team members & clients.


Time for a conclusion and the $urprise I promised in the intro 

I’ve explained in detail what ConnectExplore is, for whom it is created, how it works from a technical perspective and I’ve highlighted every feature that the software offers. Finally I’ve compared it to 3 alternative Facebook interest tools, including my own software InterestExplorer to be completely transparent.

My personal conclusion is that ConnectExplore is a really valuable tool for anyone who runs Facebook ads and wants to outsmart their competitors. When you’ll start using ConnectExplore, you’ll find interests that are more relevant and have less competition than you would find on your own using Facebook Ads Manager or Facebook Audience Insights.

I’d like to end this review with the $urprise I promised at the beginning… 

$urprise: our ConnectExplore bonus!

You ended up on this page most likely because you were considering to purchase ConnectExplore. I think this in-depth review gave you all the information you need to make a decision. 

Now you have two choices.

1) Purchase ConnectExplore, currently priced at $197 lifetime, including a 30-day trial of 5 other softwares (the ConnectSuite).

2) Purchase InterestExplorer, currently priced at $97 lifetime for the Standard license or $147 for the Extended license.

But I want to offer you a third choice…

When you purchase ConnectExplore today through my referral link, and send me the proof of your purchase, you’ll also get a lifetime InterestExplorer Standard license. This license is normally sold for $97, but you get is as a free bonus with ConnectExplore.

You can use both tools with their own distinctive features + get all bonuses and future updates. Just with today’s pricing that would already be valued at $97 – which will only increase further in the future when we add new features to the application.

Win-win, best of both worlds 🌎

How’s that for a great deal? 

To apply for this bonus, you need to make sure you purchase ConnectExplore through any of the links on this page.

Only when a click through my link was the last before your purchase, I’ll be rewarded a commission by Wilco and only then will you get your lifetime InterestExplorer Extended license. 

I’ll need a copy of your purchase confirmation / invoice (with timestamp visible) to confirm your purchase. You can send it to after your 30-days refund period with ConnectExplore has expired and you decided to keep your access.

If you want to be 100% sure you’ll get your bonus:

  • Open a new incognito browser tab.
  • Copy and paste this link:
  • Purchase ConnectExplore and send me a screenshot of your purchase confirmation email and/or invoice 30 days after your purchase date when the refund period has expired.

NOTE: To avoid abuse of this offer, you’re only given access to InterestExplorer 30 days after your ConnectExplore purchase – that’s when the 30-days refund period has expired.

Frequently asked questions

 What does ConnectExplore do?

ConnectExplore is a research tool to find Facebook interests that are hidden inside Facebook Ads Manager.

 Does ConnectExplore offer a free trial?

ConnectExplore doesn’t offer a free trial. They do offer a strong guarantee however. If you don’t like their tool within the first 30 days after your purchase, you can request a full refund. 

 Can I get a discount on ConnectExplore?

ConnectExplore doesn’t offer discount coupons. The pricing has been fixed at $197 lifetime since the launch. However, you can get our $97 software as a free bonus. If you look at it that way you’re actually getting a $97 discount.

 Where does ConnectExplore get interests from?

ConnectExplore uses Facebook’s API to request all interests related to any input keyword. This data is normally just available to developers.