Instagram Experiments With Injecting Pop Up Ads Into Your Friends’ Stories

Ads for a game called "Super Rumble" are popping up into Instagram users' stories as Meta experiments with more invasive types of ads.
Instagram Experiments With Injecting Pop Up Ads Into Your Friends’ Stories

Instagram appears to be testing ads that pop up under your friend’s stories, according to videos and screenshots of the ads shared with 404 Media and social media posts complaining about the ads.

The ads we’ve seen are for “Super Rumble,” a game for Horizon Worlds, Meta’s virtual reality platform. The ads pop up from the bottom of friends’ stories, which can create the somewhat surreal experience of being advertised a virtual reality game on friends’ posts where they are talking about political issues or world events. 

Instagram has been experimenting with “unskippable” ads in recent days that do not let you scroll or tap past them until a timer has counted down. These Super Rumble ads appear to be another attempt to inject more invasive forms of advertising directly over actual content on the app. The way the ads pop into frame is similar to ads in many mobile games, where users end up accidentally clicking on them. Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it planned on rolling out ads like this more widely.


On X, users have been complaining about the ads for the last few days: “Is anyone else getting this annoying as fuck ‘super rumble’ pop up on your instagram stories??” one user wrote alongside a screenshot of the ad. Another X user posted a screenshot of the ad popping in above their own story: “now it’s all over every story I see,” they posted. Another user posted that they were getting the ad on a Gwen Stefani story post: “under every insta story is this ad that says ‘super rumble’ it’s so annnoyinggggg. Why is Instagram so insufferable anymore.” Another user posted the ad popping into one of Olivia Rodrigo’s stories. 

Over on Reddit, users are wondering if the ads are a "virus" and have been discussing how to get rid of them.

For the last year, we’ve published several stories that have documented numerous problems with Instagram’s ads. We have repeatedly seen the platform monetize ads for drugs, stolen IDs, scams, roofers who say they will have sex with you, and “nudify” apps.