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posted by hubie on Wednesday June 05, @08:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the do-not-want dept.

Instagram is testing adverts that users cannot skip past:

The social media platform currently allows people to swipe or scroll past adverts that appear in its main feed of images and videos, as well as in its Stories and Reels feeds.

But it is now trialling a feature called "ad break", which users say they can not flick past as usual.

Images shared online show a timer, which counts down to zero before normal functionality can resume.

"Sometimes you may need to view an ad before you can keep browsing," the Meta-owned platform tells those who click for more information.

Instagram has confirmed to the BBC that a trial is under way.

"We're always testing formats that can drive value for advertisers," it said in a statement, adding that it would provide further updates if the test resulted in permanent format changes.

It remains to be seen if the trial pleases advertisers - but it certainly does not appear to have gone down well with users.

[...] Meta is not the first big tech firm to force people to watch adverts.

YouTube is known for showing non-skippable ads to users watching videos on its platform or TV app who do not pay for its ad-free premium tier.

[...] Some users have responded by turning to ad blocking tools and browser extensions as a way around adverts that interrupt videos on the platform.

Google, YouTube's parent company, is in turn trying to clamp down on ad blockers.

However it is not clear that forcing users to watch more ads actually helps companies' bottom lines.

A study carried out by TikTok, published in January, suggested forcing viewers to watch adverts might actually lead to less engagement.

More than 70% of its participants said they were more likely to engage with the experience of an advert if there was an option to skip it.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Gaaark on Wednesday June 05, @08:50PM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday June 05, @08:50PM (#1359465) Journal

    They came for Instagram and I said, "Who cares?".
    Then they came for Friendface and I said, "Who cares?"

    They came for all the other 'social media' sites and i still said, "Who cares?"

    I just don't care 'cos i don't use the shite sites.

    Stop using them and they'll beg you to use them. Beg! On their knees. Muahahaha!

    And still say no... though I'd kill for a Cuke...

    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aafcac on Thursday June 06, @12:18AM (1 child)

      by aafcac (17646) on Thursday June 06, @12:18AM (#1359478)

      TBH, if people would stop clicking on the ads, they'd stop pushing them so aggressively and offer up a proper alternative way of funding the site.

      It's part of why YT has had such a problem with scams as the main ads. I haven't noticed it as much lately, but it used to be nearly entirely scams for things like crypto currencies and solar installations.

      • (Score: 2) by mendax on Thursday June 06, @02:35AM

        by mendax (2840) on Thursday June 06, @02:35AM (#1359492)

        Oh, yes, I love some of YouTube's scams. One of the early ones that made me skip it really fast is the Epoch Times trying to convince me that they are a reliable (meaning factual) source for news. That rag is only good for lining the bottom of a cat box.

        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by anubi on Wednesday June 05, @11:26PM

    by anubi (2828) on Wednesday June 05, @11:26PM (#1359474) Journal

    I am watching TV. The ads start.

    I find something else to do for a few minutes.

    I have now jumped the track. Will I return? Probably not. Now I am engaged in something else. I know I have my TV will turn itself off in two hours unless I reset it's "watchdog" by making any adjustment to the TV. Just asking for the program guide will reset the watchdog.

    I often return to find the TV timed out.

    Even Google probably has few statistics on walk-aways upon presentation of enforced ads as they only know they enforced it. How would they know they only got a couple of skip requests back, followed by non response? Or if they had been simply NTA' d ( Nobody's There Anymore )?

    There are so many other things to do than fuming over enforced ads. They are likely to find themselves like MySpace when Facebook made the scene. We now have TikToc chomping at the bit. A Boardroom decision will be we want that additional advertiser income even if it means we drive our viewership to other portals...?

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 5, Touché) by dwilson98052 on Wednesday June 05, @11:39PM

    by dwilson98052 (17613) on Wednesday June 05, @11:39PM (#1359475)

    ...Instagram has lost 37% of it's install base, blames TikTok, forces additional ads to increase revenue.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday June 06, @02:13AM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday June 06, @02:13AM (#1359490)

    with the advertisement industry:

    NOBODY likes ads.
    EVERYBODY goes out of their way to disable or skip ads.
    And I'm not even talking about ad-born malware, which is yet another cut in the open wound.

    So why do Youtube or Instagram think forcing people to watch ads is a good idea?

    If I had a company selling something and looking to advertise my products, I would never advertise on a platform that forces potential customers to watch my ads: they will turn against my products and my company because they're forced to hear about them. Why would I antagonize my potential customers?

    The only explanation I can think of is that the internet is largely funded by advertisement, advertisement doesn't really work - or might create the opposite effect, turning people away from products being advertised - but nobody knows how to get out of that particular ditch and everybody doubles down on that dead-end business model when the going gets tough because they don't know what else to do.

    Because really, when you think about it, forcing people to watch ads is tantamount to telling them to accept a little bit of torture to access a website. There's no other way to see this. It's such a fucking failed concept it beggars belief that anyone would think this is a viable business model.

    • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Thursday June 06, @04:09AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 06, @04:09AM (#1359496) Journal

      I would never advertise on a platform that forces potential customers to watch my ads: they will turn against my products and my company because they're forced to hear about them.

      OK, that's two of us. But most of the world believes that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Better to annoy customers, than for customers to never hear of you. Maybe there is truth in that, I dunno. Advertisers are playing the odds with their annoying ads. Maybe the odds really do favor them. I dunno, and what's more, I don't care. I had my fill of ads more than 50 years ago, so I disable ads. I can spend an entire day on the intarwebz, and see zero ads. Apps on the phone? All it takes for me to dump an app, is to see an ad. I learned early on that "ad supported" meant that I might lose control of whatever I'm doing while a server serves up infinite, unstoppable ads. Screw that - I don't do "ad supported". Meanwhile - it seems that some people actually WATCH advertising. Like you, I can't figure that crap out. Why tolerate it?

      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
    • (Score: 2) by Ox0000 on Thursday June 06, @06:36PM

      by Ox0000 (5111) on Thursday June 06, @06:36PM (#1359569)

      So why do Youtube or Instagram think forcing people to watch ads is a good idea?

      MBA's and the concept of "unrealized profit" is why.
      It's because they think they own you already and that you not giving them the money they think they are owed is something they consider theft. And anything you don't give them that they feel entitled to is something that they'll steal from you, and then sue you for not willingly handing it to them. That is one of the reasons that things such as Passkeys (which performs attestation of the device that is being used to access the service and will fail said attestation if there's something they don't like in there - such as an ad blocker) are being pushed by the likes of Google, and why AdBlocking will be made illegal by these fuckers as well.

  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Thursday June 06, @02:39AM (1 child)

    by mendax (2840) on Thursday June 06, @02:39AM (#1359493)

    So far, YouTube can show me useless ads for products I will never buy but they yet have figured out how to hijack my eyelids or my eyeballs or the mute button on the keyboard. I don't have to (and never do) engage in the ads except to click on the skip button. Good luck on Instagram being able to accomplish what YouTube has yet to manage.

    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Thursday June 06, @06:56AM

      by pTamok (3042) on Thursday June 06, @06:56AM (#1359508)

      Adblocker user here.

      What ads?

      Some websites don't work properly when the domains that serve ads directly, or enable the serving of ads are blocked. Those sites get radically fewer visits - I generally visit when someone links to an interesting web-page and the ad-server stuff means I can't (or perhaps won't) see it.

      Static images, served from the domain of the actual web-site don't get blocked. I can't remember when I last saw an ad in that format.
      Static images, on the page of the newspaper or magazine that I'm reading, don't get blocked.

      I watch streaming services that have no ads. It is painfully obvious where the transitions are in the programmes where ads would have been played. Some even have short extros and intros between scenes (generic 'title-screen'-like images, plus theme music), even though there are no ads.

      'Unskippable' ads on a service mean I will will do my best to avoid using that service.

      We need a better funding model for the Internet.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DadaDoofy on Thursday June 06, @01:20PM (1 child)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Thursday June 06, @01:20PM (#1359533)

    No one is forced to watch ads by Instagram. An ad comes on, you close the browser or app and move on. If you remain on their platform in spite of the ads, that's a choice you make of your own free will.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, @08:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, @08:55PM (#1359583)

      I generally agree, but - and I realize that this is somewhat offtopic - what if using FB-owned/social media assets is the *only* way to interact with entities with whom you /must/ interact? ISPs, airlines, etc? Not only do all complaints or service requests to such companies get routed to "why don't you tweet our customer service department or leave a message on our facebook page?", they also get actively ignored unless there's a cost to them in terms of bad publicity (your 'follower count' matters in whether how quickly, effectively, or even at all you'll be helped).

      It's not always as simple to turn around and walk away.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jelizondo on Thursday June 06, @03:24PM

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 06, @03:24PM (#1359553) Journal

    A little while ago I canceled my Prime subscription. I won’t pay to see ads. One of daughters complained that she was watching a series and I said: Go pirate it. It’s a double blow, they lose the subscription and the content is watched anyway.

    I don’t usually advocate for piracy but if you are too stupid to understand your customer, maybe you deserve the pirates.