Instagram is Testing Unskippable Ads in Your Feed

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Key Takeaways

  • Meta is testing unskippable ads in Instagram's main feed.
  • Users see an "ad break" that counts down.
  • It's unclear if or when this might become an official change.

Meta has confirmed that it’s testing unskippable ads in the main Instagram feed.

Following reports from user Dan Levy and others this weekend, Meta said in a statement to Techopedia that it was “always testing” new ad formats, and that it would update users if the test led to any “formal product changes.” It didn’t outline the details of the program or how many users were involved in the experiment.

Those part of the Instagram test will encounter an “ad break” that prevents them from scrolling past video ads for a short amount of time. Until now, you could always scroll freely.

Threads and other Meta apps don’t appear to be part of the test.

There’s no certainty the unskippable ads will become permanent fixtures. There has already been a negative reaction to the test, and Meta might decide that the risk of losing users isn’t worth potential increases in ad revenue. It might also explore other approaches that are less disruptive.

The company saw a resurgence in profits last year to about $39 billion, and its ad views jumped 28% year-over-year.  However, it also saw its average price per ad dip nine percent versus 2022. Unskippable ads in Instagram would theoretically increase the value of those placements by guaranteeing more views.

There are other ad avenues in Instagram, including in Stories. However, it’s possible that main feed ads could generate significantly more revenue given that only some users regularly visit Stories.