Instagram is testing unskippable in-feed ads, according to users of X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit. According to reports, people were surprised by advertisements that have a countdown timer, which must be reset before they can return to following posts on the timeline.

The supposed feature is being called “ad breaks” or “advertising breaks”, and will be displayed randomly while the user browses. The novelty is possibly a test that is being shown to a very small portion of people. Even so, they were able to draw attention on the internet by describing how intrusive and frustrating the new feature is.

According to users, when the ad window appears, you have to wait between three and five seconds to continue browsing. The approach is very similar to advertisements displayed in free apps and games.

One of the points mentioned by those who went through the new experience on the network is that it is simply impossible to close the advertisement. One of the users said that when it happened to him, his only reaction was to close the platform to get rid of the hassle.

Experience may be worse than on YouTube

YouTube adopted non-skippable ads a few years ago for certain advertisers. Therefore, the strategy is not new to the market. The problem is that Instagram content is much more dynamic and requires less engagement time.

Any interruption can irritate the platform’s users much more than on a social network focused on long videos.

The length of a video on YouTube is enough for a person to see dozens of memes on Instagram, including images and videos on Reels. Therefore, those “contemplated” by the news said they felt encouraged not to stay online. One of them said that these ads “interrupt the user flow”.

Non-skippable ads have a timer that makes the user wait 3 to 5 seconds before browsing again. (Image: Threads @thedanlevy/Reproduction)Source: Threads @thedanlevy/Reproduction

In the case of YouTube, Google has been strict regarding users using ad blockers. The streaming platform has a Premium plan that removes advertising.

It remains to be seen whether Meta wants to take non-skippable ads further on Instagram and launch ad-free paid plans.


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