Instagram Experimenting with ‘Non-Skippable’ Ads

Instagram is currently testing a new feature called “ad breaks” that requires users to stop and look at an advertisement for a set amount of time before being able to continue scrolling. The presence of this feature has been reported by X and Reddit users, and confirmed by Instagram spokesperson Matthew Tye in a statement. Tye mentioned that Instagram will provide updates if this test leads to any formal changes in the product.

A Reddit user noticed the ad break feature while browsing through Insta stories and posts but upon reaching a certain point they were prevented from proceeding further until they viewed an ad. A countdown timer accompanied by an “ad break” icon indicated the time remaining before they could resume scrolling.

On tapping the icon for more details, a message was displayed explaining that ad breaks are a new way for users to encounter ads on Instagram, sometimes requiring them to view an ad before continuing to browse.

While Instagram already incorporates sponsored posts and ads within its feed and Reels, the addition of unskippable content between posts represents a significant departure and may be viewed as disruptive. Tye mentioned that Instagram is constantly exploring different formats that can benefit advertisers.

YouTube is known to show unskippable ads before and during videos, with the platform also introducing unskippable 30-second commercials to its TV app. Both YouTube and TikTok insert ads between their shortform videos, although users are still able to skip past them.

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