Most social networks use ads to make money, but that might be most apparent on Instagram for Android and iPhone. There’s tons of ads and promoted content in the Feed and Stories. We’ll show you how to avoid them.
Over the years, Instagram has become overrun with lots of stuff that you didn’t sign up to see. Reels, promoted posts, suggested content, and lots of ads. Actually seeing just the accounts you follow is a challenge, but there are some ways you can still do it.
Bypass Ads in Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are stuffed full of ads—you might see one in between every account—but there’s a clever way to totally avoid them: viewing the Stories in reverse.
Typically, you would tap the first Story and go through them from left to right. This is the intended behavior. However, if you scroll to the end and go through them from right to left, you won’t see any ads at all.
Granted, this does make it slightly more cumbersome to view Stories, but it’s not that bad. You can use the same tap-to-advance technique, but when you get to the end of someone’s Story, swipe from left to right to go to the previous person (the Story to the left of the one you just watched).
It’s very weird that this works—and maybe it won’t for long—but you’ll see absolutely zero ads with this method.
See Only Accounts You Follow in the Feed
Instagram has stuffed the Feed with a lot more than the people and accounts you asked to see, but there’s actually a way to hide all of that pretty easily—just tap the Instagram logo.
By default, the Instagram Feed uses an algorithm to decide which posts to show you. However, if you tap the Instagram logo at the top left of the iPhone and Android app, you’ll see two other Feed options: «Following» and «Favorites.»
The «Following» feed will show you only the accounts you followed, and in chronological order. The «Favorites» feed is the same deal, but only accounts you’ve added to your favorites.
Unfortunately, the app will not remember your selection the next time you open it. You will have to do this every time. Another trick to improve the Feed is to use the web app instead of the native apps.
Hide Suggested Posts in the Feed
One big part of the algorithmic Feed is «Suggested» posts that Instagram thinks you’ll like. If you don’t want to bother switching to the «Following» Feed every time, we can hide the suggested posts—but there’s a catch. We can only hide them for 30 days at a time, after which you’ll need to do it again.
First, go to your profile tab in the Instagram app for iPhone or Android and tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner. Select «Settings and Privacy» from the menu.
Now go to the «Suggested Content» section and turn on «Snooze Suggested Posts in Feed.»
You won’t see any suggested posts for 30 days! When you notice them start appearing again, just go back there and do it again.
In a perfect world, Instagram wouldn’t need ads or they wouldn’t be so intrusive, but that’s not the reality we live in—at least not for most social networks. Thankfully, with a little know-how, you can improve your social media experience.