Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Unskippable ads may soon make Instagram a nightmare just like YouTube

Published Jun 3rd, 2024 10:32AM EDT
Threads, X, and Instagram app logos
Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Instagram has been testing one of its most controversial features yet: unskippable ads. The new feature, called Ad Breaks, will interrupt the user’s browsing experience for 3-5 seconds before they can continue scrolling the feed.

This function was spotted by Android Authority after several users started complaining about it on social media. Meta’s new take on ads might be a new way to diversify its revenue due to Apple’s privacy features blocking how third-party apps can track users and TikTok’s increasing popularity.

While Instagram is already full of ads, this new feature might make the platform impossible to use. After three people’s Stories, you’ll get up to two ads. The same is true when scrolling through the feed, the Search tab, or even someone’s photos.

In addition, an unwanted and unskippable ad might now block you from seeing your feed for up to five seconds. At this moment, it’s unclear how significant this test is, as we don’t know how many countries or users are affected by this new Ad Breaks feature.

This function is similar to what YouTube does: If you’re not a premium subscriber, you might have to watch countless ads before seeing the video. Even while watching the content, you might be interrupted by a new ad.

Unlike Meta, Google at least lets you subscribe to YouTube Premium to avoid these interruptions, in addition to other perks. In Europe, Meta has been offering its services with an ad-free subscription, but it’s unclear if this change could launch in other regions. Personally, I’d rather pay not to see ads than to have an impossible experience on a platform. That said, I don’t use Instagram that much to care about this possible change, but hard-core users are furious.

On Reddit, a user wrote: “This’ll be the last straw for me regarding Instagram. I could stand the plethora of ads sprinkled throughout the entire app already, but unskippable?” On X, people are saying this will make them close the app. One user wrote: “Oh my god, Instagram has added ‘ad breaks’ where they won’t let you scroll past an ad until you wait 3 seconds. I guess they’ll be my ‘get off Instagram’ notifications.”

Wrap up

BGR will update the story once we hear from Meta about its plans to offer unskippable ads to Instagram users.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.