Ever since Instagram integrated ads a few years ago, it's been impossible to scroll through your feed without seeing frequent posts trying to sell you something. If you're like me, they often force a double-take, leaving you guessing when you followed this or that random account, only to realize it's some branded short video trying to get you to buy Slim Jims or sunglasses.
Wish they'd all just disappear? This quick and easy hack will do that.
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The trick was originally discovered by Mashable, and after testing it out myself, I can confirm it does indeed work. No guarantees that it'll will work every time and for every person using every device, but it's worth a shot. Here's what to do:
As you go through your feed, each time you come across a sponsored post, tap the three-dot icon in the right hand corner and select "Hide This."
When prompted why you want to hide it, select "It's inappropriate."
Repeat this process for every sponsored message you see each timeyou scroll through your feed, and in a day or two you will notice a dramatic decline in the number of ads. Eventually they'll disappear altogether.
Of course, this override is a bit shady, since in-feed advertising is integral to Instagram's business model, and you're essentially lying about why you want them removed. If that has you feeling guilty, you could instead select "I see it too often" or "It's not relevant" as the reason you want to hide the ad. This won't banish sponsored messages altogether, but you may begin seeing fewer of them, and ones better targeted to you.
There's no guarantee Instagram won't eventually get wise to this little loophole, so take advantage while it lasts.
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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist, and well aware he wouldn't be if ads weren't being seen on this site.