afaqs! news bureau

Instagram tests unskippable ads to boost ad engagement

A few users had to pause and watch ads while scrolling through posts.

Instagram is testing “ad breaks” that force you to stop and look at an ad for a period of time before you can continue scrolling. Several X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit users reported seeing the feature.

Instagram spokesperson Matthew Tye told The Verge that the company trying out ad breaks. He said Instagram would “provide updates should this test result in any formal product changes.”

A Reddit user noticed this thing while they were browsing through stories and posts. After scrolling for a bit, Instagram made them stop and watch an ad before they could keep going. Instagram displayed an “ad break” icon with a countdown timer that shows how long until one can start scrolling again.

When the user clicked on the icon to learn more about the feature, Instagram displayed a message, “Ad breaks are a new way of seeing ads on Instagram. Sometimes you may need to view an ad before you can keep browsing.”

Instagram already shows sponsored posts and ads while one scrolls through stuff on their home feed or while watching Reels. “We’re always testing formats that can drive value for advertisers,” Tye says.

Apart from Instagram, YouTube also shows unskippable ads before and during videos. It even expanded unskippable, 30-second commercials to its TV app in 2023.

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