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Instagram users 'want to scream' after testing of 'unpopular' new feature begins

Instagram users 'want to scream' after testing of 'unpopular' new feature begins

It's putting a stop to endless free scrolling.

Only last week did Instagram cause fury among its users for the littlest of changes.

By little, we're talking the bolding of a font on your Instagram profile - but it was enough for users to call the change 'skin crawling.'

Well, what the Meta app is introducing now might actually be the final straw for some.

If you’re on Instagram, you may have seen the ever-growing influx of ads plaguing your feed.

It can often feel like every other post from the accounts you follow is interrupted by an ad, and Stories are also riddled with unwanted product promotions.

A similar feature is seen on Facebook: what was once a platform for connecting with loved ones has morphed into a cesspool of suggested posts and ads.

Anna Barclay / Contributor / Getty
Anna Barclay / Contributor / Getty

Of course, social media platforms rely on adverts to keep offering their services free of charge.

They were first introduced to Instagram in 2013, reaching UK users a year later.

Court filings from last month revealed that in 2021, Instagram ads raked in $32.4 billion for its parent Meta – 27% of the company’s total revenue.

But, it seems Instagram is trying to squeeze even more money out of its user base.

The photo-sharing app is testing ‘unskippable ads’ according to reports from its users, a feature they're calling an ‘ad break’.

Screenshots shared on X show a countdown timer on the feed, followed by a forced video ad.

Users are stuck watching the entire ad before they can continue scrolling.

eternalcreative / Getty
eternalcreative / Getty

Clicking on the info button reveals the message: ‘You’re seeing an ad break.

‘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 new feature was initially spotted by Instagram app user Dan Levy, who posted a screenshot of the test on X, calling it a 'bonkers move.'

Unsurprisingly, the aggressive ad push hasn't sat well with the majority of its users.

‘The unskippable ad breaks on Instagram are making me want to scream!' one user wrote.

'I hate this new "feature" so much - it is so in your face and to me, feels like a terrible business decision,' another replied.

The ads seem to be stopping some people from doomscrolling however, with one saying: ‘Closed the app immediately when the ad break popped up and will continue to do so. Thanks Instagram for the handy pop up that reminds me I have something better to be doing.’

Featured Image Credit: Anna Barclay / Contributor / eternalcreative / Getty