Instagram has long been accused of stealing features from platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter/X. It appears that the company has looked to YouTube for its latest idea: unskippable ads that you have to watch for a period of time before being able to scroll further.

A Redditor posted images of the Instagram ad breaks. FireCubX writes that users will suddenly find they have hit the bottom of their feed, so to speak, and can’t scroll down any further. An “ad break” icon will appear with a countdown timer that prevents users from browsing through more content until they view an ad, at which point the counter starts running down.


I’m happy I only have a lemmy account

  • Yrt@feddit.de
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    2 months ago

    Wouldn’t it be funny, if that would end the doom scroll cause suddenly it’s a disturbance and can’t be skipped like other non liked content, so it breaks the trance and leaves the user with anger instead of numbness?

    • samus12345@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      User tolerance of online ads is really being tested lately with the increase of unskippable crap. I suspect that some will stop rather than deal with it, but most will just tolerate it. Which is what they’re counting on.

      • Yrt@feddit.de
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        2 months ago

        I guess you’re right, but especially Instagram for me is something that relies on this numbness doom scrolling comes with. Every other thing has another driver. Like YT or Twitch is something for entertainment like TV, so (semi) active watching stuff, Facebook and twitter (now X) is something to get angry about, but Instagram is unsatisfying scrolling without knowing why. But why let it stop here and there, if it breaks this drooled scrolling. And if you’re in need of this feeling, there is also tiktok (as of right know, until the unstoppable ads are profitable).

    • catloaf@lemm.ee
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      2 months ago

      I sure hope so. I use Instagram to follow my friends and local businesses, but I can get sucked into reels too. I have an app that specifically pops up if I spend too much time in Instagram to break that cycle.

    • SacredHeartAttack@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      The sheer amount of accounts I don’t follow and/or adds I DO see already do this for me. It’s a nice “feature” they added for me. Way to go Meta. I get bored fast now and close the app.

  • solsangraal@lemmy.zip
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    2 months ago

    they’re stress testing the user base. they don’t give half a flying fuck how outraged you are. they only care about whether you’ll quit the platform. which you won’t.

    • Codilingus@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      “We have determined that we’ll be able to fill 80% of the user’s display with advertising before inducing seizures.”

      From Ready Player One movie.

    • helenslunch@feddit.nl
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      1 month ago

      Exactly. They’re past the point of bringing in new users. Now they’re just focusing on extracting more value from the ones they already have.

  • Vent@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    Outrage, yes, but what about decreased usage? What’s the effect on revenue and stock price? C-suite pay?

    • Optional@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      What account?

      Fucking Instagram. Facepals. Tweetle, or, “Borg” as it’s called now. The TicketyTark. Fuck all that shit. Hey look! Free garbage in exchange for everything about my movments and thoughts!

      This was the deal in 2000. It’s been 24 years of marveling at how many people just - give all their shit away. Don’t even think about it. And then have the balls to complain when they get screwed.

  • snooggums@midwest.social
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    2 months ago

    An “ad break” icon will appear with a countdown timer that prevents users from browsing through more content until they view an ad, at which point the counter starts running down.

    So the user has to interact with the ad prompt, they aren’t just presented with an ad?

    If so, that sounds like an even worse experience.

  • Usernameblankface@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    What’s the difference? Most of what’s on there is an ad for something. A lifestyle, a look, a road trip destination, a festival, a food.

      • Crampon@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        I don’t get it. I go to Instagram a couple of times a day. I start scrolling. The third post is something I haven’t followed or liked. Then the fourth, and the fifth. So I close the app. I spend like 5 minuter there daily. The whole discover page is just filled with trash I have no interest for.

        Sure I enjoy climbing. But I don’t care for videos of people tying knots or lightly dressed chicks doing some low grade bouldering. Why does the app think it’s better than me?

  • Kekzkrieger@feddit.de
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    2 months ago

    People will get outraged, scream for a bit and then accept it and keep using the service.

    The additional ad-revenue will outscale the few users that quit by far and thus enshittification continues.

    Tho i guess we should be happy for the few that escape the shothole instagram because social media is cancer anyways.

  • BakerBagel@midwest.social
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    2 months ago

    My Instagram feed is already 90% ads. There are almost no posts from people i actually follow, and most of those are artists i like trying to sell their tour or merch. It’s a fundamentally broken platform as is

    • krashmo@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      It’s not broken. The platform just isn’t meant for real people to communicate with each other anymore. It’s an advertising farm people show up to willingly because it used to be an interesting place.

  • AllNewTypeFace@leminal.space
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    2 months ago

    Nonetheless, they’ll probably get away with it, because other than among a handful of autistic furries, there’s no demand for non-algorithmic, non-enshittified social networks.

    The celebrities and brand-builders who use Instagram to grow their brand aren’t switching to Pixelfed or Misskey because, without algorithms boosting them, there’s no clout to be had. Artists, indie bands, vintage clothing sellers and other self-marketers are staying put for similar reasons. (Basically, if your goal is “self-promote at scale and hope to make ends meet” rather than “find a handful of weird friends with the same kind of damage as you”, the fediverse is worse than useless: it’s lost time and effort with nothing to show for it.) Your normie friends, who want to keep up with their favourite pop stars and tattoo artists and have a busy schedule without an extra 15 minutes a day for a social network few people use, aren’t going to add Pixelfed to their dopamine loops.

    • auzas_1337@lemmy.zip
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      2 months ago

      As sad as it is, this is the realest take in the thread.

      Honestly, I’ve no idea what could dislodge the current social media giants. X [now XXX] seems to be doing a decent enough job at losing users, but besides that cesspit of a site, there are no indicators that the others are going anywhere anytime soon.

      Facebook might be the next in line after X tho, just because the user base will literally die off.

  • HiramFromTheChi@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Thoughts and takeaways, plus 3 viable solutions:

    Thoughts

    1️⃣ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Enshittification might be a good thing. Here’s why

    I don’t “like” that things have gotten this bad, but I do like that the worse things get, the more we can collectively organize and pressure reform to fix these things.

    2️⃣ These tests are usually run on relatively small subsets of the user base. Remember when they rolled out hiding likes? That was rolled out periodically as well.

    They typically also run different types of user bases. They already know the hardcore “influencers” and people who have built a public following will never leave the platform, since they’re too invested already, and are the people/publications that contribute the most to network effects. I.e., you’re on there because they’re on there.

    3️⃣ Remember when Tim Kendall (former executive at Facebook) says that they talked about Zuckerberg having ultimate control over these 3 distinct goals?

    1. Engagement: Drive up your usage. Keep you scrolling, liking, commenting, and remaining active on the platform.
    2. Growth: Encouraging you to keep coming back and inviting your friends, and getting them to invite their friends, and so on.
    3. Advertising: Make sure that as growth and engagement are happening, advertising revenue is maximized.

    That’s what’s happening here—this is dial #3 being turned up.

    Solutions

    1. The most obvious: Delete your account

    I know, I know—network effects are tough to break.

    Tell your friends and family to delete theirs. Make yourself unreachable on Facebook-owned platforms.

    Most people are posting less as traditional posts, and more as stories. If stories is your thing, Signal has stories. This is a really secure, private, and still convenient way to share whatever you want throughout the day.

    If your favorite restaurant changes your dish’s recipe, you’d prolly stop going, right? Well, that recipe’s been changing, and we continue to put up with it despite an increasingly worse product.

    2. For those looking for an alternative: Use Pixelfed

    It doesn’t have nearly the same type of content or user base size that Instagram does. But the same way that we built Facebook little by little, the same can be done for healthier alternative platforms.

    This might also help your reduction in using social media, if you’re looking for that.

    3. For those who can’t/will never leave Instagram: Use an open source native mobile app (Android-specific)

    If you have an Android-based mobile operating system, there are apps like MyInsta and Instander that give you a native Instagram experience while blocking all of the ads.

    They also have app-specific settings that allow you to customize your Instagram experience even further, such as (but limited to):

    • Downloading photos/reels/entire carousels
    • Reduces data sent to Instagram (analytics, ads, and other requests)
    • Ghost mode
    • Block reels, posts, stories, explore, comments, or whatever else
    • Tons more

    I run a basketball media outlet (InThePaintCrew) and a lifestyle/photography page (LifeViaChicago), and being able to modify the experience to remove the noise/clutter when a native Instagram app is needed is helpful.

  • iarigby@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Many say they would stop using the app entirely if the ads become widespread.

    oh don’t threaten me with good time. It would be amazing if my friends would be forced to stop using instagram so I would not be forced to log in just to catch up on stories or keep in touch

  • BestBouclettes@jlai.lu
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    2 months ago

    Isn’t that standard practice nowadays? You push an outrageous thing to test the reactions, then you pull back and then you push something similar but toned down to be more acceptable. A while later you incrementally move towards your initial plan.