How to banish ads from your Instagram feed
I’ve got a little secret: I haven’t seen ads in my Instagram feed in over a year.
You’re most likely wondering how that’s even possible. Honestly, I’m not exactly positive why it works, however it does, and here’s how you can (or at least attempt to) banish them from your Instagram feed as well.
When I first started seeing ads or “sponsored” posts in my Instagram feed, I instantly knew it was a sign of worse things to come.
What started out as some unobtrusive ads in between posts eventually became what felt sort of a feed of just ads.
Om Malik, a partner at True Ventures, and the founder of GigaOm, said it best last year:
I have been contemplating if it’s time to get Instagram off my home screen as well. Why? Because it’s been infesting my feed with too many ads — and not just any ads but terrible ads. Video ads. Ads that make completely no sense to me. Ads that have less relevance to my feed and me than dumb follow-me-everywhere banners on the web.
Like Malik, I almost quit Instagram due to all the ads. But rather than leaving the land of gorgeous photos, I started “hiding” the ads.
didn’t matter how huge or small the advertiser was. If a post had “Sponsored” below its
username, I hid it and then reported it.
It’s not against Instagram’s user terms to hide the ads. In fact, Instagram even details the ways to hide ads that you assume aren’t relevant to you, are shown too often, or are inappropriate.
I remember correctly, I originally reported an ad as either not relevant or that it appeared too often.
These two options hid the ads I found annoying, however didn’t banish them altogether. Therefore I began to report all ads as “inappropriate,” and once I did that for every ad I saw, after about a week or so I stopped seeing them entirely. My feed has been ad-free (so much that I had to take screenshots using a colleague’s ad-infested Instagram account because I couldn’t find any on my own) for a while now and I wouldn’t have it any other approach.
The same “trick” seems to work on ads in between Instagram Stories, too. After hiding every Story ad and marking them as inappropriate, I seem to have banished them (for now).
Why it works is still a mystery to me. Instagram has over 500,000 active advertisers per month; therefore it’s unlikely the platform ran out of ads to show me. And believe me, I’ve been searching for them — the other day I browsed through two hundred Instagram posts in my feed and couldn’t find a single ad.
telling some colleagues about the “trick” they, too, started hiding ads and told me they’ve seen fewer ads since doing so.
I admit, I’m a real jerk for hiding all the ads and reporting them as inappropriate since Instagram relies on them to make cash, but I’m not remorseful. The ads and how they’re obtrusively displayed suck — plain and simple — and ruin the app’s experience. Hiding the ads and somehow having them magically banished forever was the sole way for me make Instagram usable.