Instagram’s Newest Feature Is Making Its Users Want To Quit ?

Category: Social Media 24

Instagram is currently testing an “ad break” feature that interrupts the scrolling experience by forcing users to view ads for three to five seconds before returning to their feed.

Since Instagram already displays a lot of ads and sponsored content in its feed, the inevitable ads are a deal breaker for many users, with many Redditors saying they’ve ditched the app in favor of alternatives like TikTok and YouTube shorts.

As Instagram has recently embraced new monetization strategies and relied on algorithmic recommendations, its user experience is almost unrecognizable from a decade ago. However, if users back out during the testing phase, there’s a chance the strategy won’t roll across the board.

Instagram is experimenting with a new ad break feature

Ever since Meta acquired Instagram in 2012, the platform has never been shy about adding new monetization features. However, Instagram’s inevitable ads feature, currently being tested on select users, is already ruffling many feathers and may be the app’s most controversial ad strategy yet.

Instagram’s new ad break feature forces users to view three- to five-second ads in their feed. Ads present users with a small label notifying them of the feature and a second-by-second countdown.

Users who request more information are faced with a pop-up message: “You are viewing an ad break. Ad Break is a new way to view ads on Instagram. Sometimes you may need to see an ad before you can continue browsing.

Instagram’s new unstoppable ad feature, which hasn’t been rolled out to all users yet, is similar to the unstoppable ads on sites like YouTube. However, Instagram’s ad breaks display ads at a much shorter length than YouTube’s, preventing users from skipping content up to 30 seconds.

Unsurprisingly, users hate Instagram’s ad breaks

While it’s become increasingly common for users to buy things on Instagram with the introduction of its shopping feature in 2020, the ad break feature positions the app as more of a digital billboard than a social media platform — and users aren’t happy.

Many users have taken to message boards like Reddit and X to complain about the new monetization feature and share that they’ve already left Instagram for other short-form video platforms that don’t have mandatory ads, like YouTube Shorts. For example, Reddit user ‘the-s-is-for-sucks’ announced that they are leaving Instagram.

Other users wonder if AdBreaks can serve their intended purpose, with user sbgs87 commenting, ‘I’ve bought an embarrassing amount of stuff through Instagram ads and they’ve worked great. Now when I see one of these unavoidable ads (last 2 days) I exit the app, probably not the engagement they were hoping for.

Ad break coming to a smartphone near you?

But do user opinions even matter? Well, according to Instagram, they might. Ad breaks are still in the testing phase, so if the feature doesn’t become popular across the board, it won’t lead to formal product changes.

If your browsing experience has never been interrupted by forced ad breaks, chances are you won’t be affected by the changes. However, even if ad breaks don’t appear on your smartphone, that doesn’t mean the Instagram experience won’t change in the future.

The Meta-owned short-form video app continues to expand other monetization features, including paid subscriptions and in-app purchases. What’s more, with half of users’ feeds now generating AI-suggested content from unfollowed profiles, Instagram believes it’s an opportune time to mix in more ads without seeming too intrusive.

Don’t want forced ads getting in the way of your scrolling? Social media giant TikTok lets you browse content without ad break-style interruptions. If you’re planning to jump ship, here’s how to deal with the Tiktok ban in the future.

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