Uh-oh, Instagram is testing ads and you can't skip them

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • According to several Reddit and X users, Instagram is testing ads that cannot be skipped on its platform.
  • Dubbed "Ad Breaks," the feature displays ads that last several seconds and restricts users from scrolling past them.
  • While not rolled out to a wide range of users, this could mean a subscription may be on the way- to get past these "unskippable" ads.

Meta, the company that owns Instagram, is testing ads that cannot be skipped on its platform, according to several Reddit and X users (via Mashable).

Dubbed an "Ad break," this feature forces ads from different brands on the screen for a couple of seconds, restricting users from scrolling through the app.

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

The platform is only testing this feature for a handful of people, as none of Android Central's staff has experienced these disruptions on the app. 

Until now, Instagram has shown ads in between posts or stories that users can simply scroll past. However, according to this Reddit thread, this unskippable ad situation has only been getting on users' nerves. 

“Ad Break” ie. unskippable ads now on Instagram from r/Instagram

One user stated that these ads are definitely a business decision and that they would leave the platform if this continued. 

"I hate this new "feature" so much - it is so in your face and to me, feels like a terrible business decision. The whole platform is already basically "soft ads" that generate revenue based on people being on there for ages, consuming content without thinking too much about it all and now they're forcing users to stop scrolling and drawing attention to the fact they're on an app designed to sell them things."

As a workaround, the user said they "simply close the app as soon as an ad break pops up, and if this continues, I'll be unsubscribing." 

While other users on the same thread stated that they would "100% be quitting/uninstalling the app."

One good thing that could come out of this "Ad-break" is that it would give users a break from going down the Instagram rabbit hole for hours, leading to unwanted procrastination. 

Instagram first introduced ads on its feed, back in 2022, but it remains unclear when the social media company will roll out these ad breaks to more users. However, unskippable ads hint at an oncoming premium subscription for the app—where users would have to shell out more money to skip them.

Android Central has reached out to Meta about this, and they didn't get back to us in time for publication. We will update this article once we have more information.

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cozy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog, or leveling up in the gaming universe.