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Instagram’s Unskippable Ad Breaks: Will Users Say Goodbye?

Is This The Final Straw for Instagram Users?

Would You Like an Ad Before Seeing Your Friend’s Vacation Photos?

Instagram’s latest experiment, “Ad Breaks,” has users contemplating a permanent departure from the platform. This new feature introduces unskippable ads that disrupt users’ browsing, requiring them to watch an advertisement for 3-5 seconds before resuming their feed.

The Business of Ads

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, relies heavily on advertisements for revenue. Personalized ads that target user interests have been their mainstay. However, faced with increasing challenges like stricter privacy regulations and the growing popularity of TikTok, Meta is exploring new revenue streams. These include in-app purchases, subscriptions, and now, the controversial unskippable Ad Breaks. Unlike the seamlessly integrated sponsored posts users are accustomed to, Ad Breaks are more intrusive, reminding users that Instagram is fundamentally a business.

Instagram Frustration

The introduction of Ad Breaks has sparked confusion and frustration, as Meta has yet to make an official announcement. Platforms like Reddit and X (formerly Twitter) are buzzing with users voicing their displeasure and sharing their negative experiences.


One Reddit user, u/sus_pineapple_appt, expressed their frustration, saying, “Thought I’ve been taking crazy pills for two days because this is currently happening with me… and goodbye IG. I have no need for that.” Another user, u/the-s-is-for-sucks, called the feature a “terrible business decision” likely to alienate users. User u/HTM criticized the disruption to user flow and engagement, questioning whether Meta’s top-tier UX designers conducted any research before implementing this change.

“Ad Break” ie. unskippable ads now on Instagram
byu/notthatogwiththename inInstagram

Disgruntlement is equally evident on X. Rob Moses (@RobMoses) mentioned considering a switch to TikTok due to the ad breaks, while yy (@ithastobeyeye) lamented the forced waiting time for ads, predicting it might lead to less time spent on the platform.

Testing the Waters

Currently, the Ad Breaks feature appears to be in a limited testing phase, affecting a small group of users. Meta seems to be conducting A/B testing to gauge reactions and evaluate the impact on ad revenue. Whether this feature will be rolled out to all users or modified based on feedback remains to be seen.

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