Instagram is testing YouTube-like unskippable ads

Anurag Singh
Instagram unskippable ads

Instagram is in the process of testing unskippable ads, similar to those that pre-roll on YouTube videos, and will call the new feature “ad-break.”

Ads are already a big part of Instagram. You get them while scrolling reels, watching stories, and checking your feed, but you’re not forced to watch them. That may soon change as the Meta-owned platform is currently testing unskippable ads.

X user Dan Levy and Redditor notthatogwiththename shared screenshots revealing Instagram’s new feature, called “Ad-break.” This feature, as the name suggests, stops you from scrolling until you finish watching an advertisement.

“Ad breaks are a new way of seeing ads on Instagram. Sometimes you may need to view an ad before you can keep browsing,” reads the description of the new feature.

This ad format is similar to YouTube, unless you have splurged for Premium. However, we tested the Instagram app in different regions and couldn’t see any live Ad-break features yet.

Meta is likely testing the feature with a limited number of people in specific regions. Once testing is done, the company could roll out the ads to a wider audience. Meta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

As you’d expect, the Instagram users who see the new unskippable ads aren’t thrilled. “Thought I’ve been taking crazy pills for two days because this is currently happening with me and I couldn’t find any info anywhere other than your recent post. So thank you… and goodbye IG. I have no need for that,” said one user on Reddit.

“Literally the worst f**king thing ever” wrote another user. “Wow just had my first one as well and am blown away. Kind of not surprised but I am because it’s such a bad way to control the user and force an ad. This is gonna piss a lot of people off,” noted another user on Reddit.

The news comes after the European Union (EU) opened a formal investigation into Meta in May 2024. The EU is concerned that Instagram and Facebook aren’t doing enough to protect the mental and physical health of children.

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