Instagram is testing ads that can’t be skipped

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Instagram is testing ads that can't be skipped

Recently, social media users were surprised when Instagram confirmed that it was testing unskippable ads in the app. Screenshots demonstrating this new feature, called “ad interrupts,” are being circulated online. These ad breaks display a countdown timer that effectively pauses users’ ability to scroll through their feed until the ad is over.

This format will increase the value for advertisers, said a representative of Meta

This move by Instagram mirrors the advertising strategy employed on YouTube’s free tier, which forces viewers to watch ads before and sometimes during videos. The move makes sense for Instagram, given its own evolution into a platform that is heavily focused on video content through features like Stories and Reels, moving beyond its original roots as a photo-sharing app.

Although Instagram has not disclosed details, a Meta representative confirmed to TechCrunch that the tests are underway, saying that the company is exploring “formats that can add value for advertisers.” They emphasized that these are just tests and any potential changes based on the results will be announced later.

The news came thanks to Instagram user Dan Levy, who shared a screenshot of a test in which he encountered an ad that was not to be missed. Levy expressed his disapproval, calling it a “crazy move.” Further details emerged in a Reddit post explaining that clicking on the info icon for the ad pause brings up a message explaining that it is a “new way to view Instagram ads” and users may need to review it before continuing to browse.

As expected, the reaction was not very positive. Levy’s post gained popularity as it was shared by other social media accounts. Although Instagram has not disclosed the specific locations where the test is taking place or its global reach, screenshots show that ad breaks appear in the in-app feed while watching video posts. It is also unclear whether content creators will have any influence on the placement of these ads. Potentially, the company aims to increase advertising revenue. For now, this remains a test, but it is a development that regular Instagram users should keep an eye on.

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