Instagram Testing New ‘Ad Breaks’ Feature

Instagram is currently experimenting with a new feature called “ad breaks” that will require users to pause and view an ad for a set period of time before being able to continue scrolling. The news of this test was first reported by several X and Reddit users, and it has been confirmed by Instagram spokesperson Matthew Tye.

According to Tye, Instagram is in the process of testing these ad breaks and will provide updates if any significant changes are made to the platform as a result. One Reddit user encountered this feature while browsing through stories and posts on the app. Upon reaching a certain point, Instagram prevented them from proceeding until they had viewed an ad.

In the screenshot shared by the user, Instagram displayed an “ad break” icon along with a countdown timer indicating how long the user had to wait before being able to scroll again. When the user clicked on the icon to learn more about the feature, Instagram provided a message explaining that ad breaks are a new way for users to interact with ads on the platform.

While Instagram already features sponsored posts and ads interspersed between regular content, the introduction of unskippable ad breaks takes advertising on the platform to a new level of intrusiveness. Tye mentioned that Instagram is constantly exploring different advertising formats that can benefit advertisers.

It is worth noting that other platforms like YouTube also utilize unskippable ads before and during videos. YouTube even introduced unskippable 30-second commercials on its TV app last year. Both YouTube and TikTok include ads between their short videos, but users have the option to skip past them.

This new development on Instagram has sparked mixed reactions among users, with some expressing frustration over the intrusive nature of the ad breaks. As the platform continues to test and refine this feature, it remains to be seen how users will adapt to this new form of advertising on Instagram.