Instagram Accidentally Rolls Out Experimental Horizontal Scrolling Feature to All Users

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated July 13, 2021

Instagram has rolled out an experimental new feature that turns vertical scrolling into horizontal, but it goes well beyond just the testing team that was intended to receive the update. Unannounced and unexpected by the userbase of the popular app, this fundamental change in the way the user interacts with the interface of the application has not been met with enthusiasm by most.

Every new feature needs to be thoroughly tested and subsequently polished before deeming it ready for the wider user base. Instagram however accidentally overridden the whole testing and polishing process, rolling out a fundamental change to all users of the app by mistake. The Facebook company realized their error only after the first Tweets mentioning the UI change came out, with the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, responding to a selection of these Tweets and clarifying that this was a mistake from their side and that users shouldn’t have received this update at this point. The new feature was rolled back, and users were urged to restart their apps in order to get back the classic scrolling function.

Instagram Tweet

One of the main reasons why the new horizontal scrolling was so frustrating for most users was that the timeline was limited to displaying one piece of content, so a lot of scrolling action was now required from the user side. Instagram is possibly going for coherence in the user interface here, as the new timeline scrolling feature works similarly to Instagram stories (by tapping to the left and right); however, it will need polishing before it is practically preferable to the vertical scrolling. For now, it’s been rolled back, and Instagram got a lot more feedback on it than what they were going for.

Where you among those who received the Instagram update? Let us know how you feel about the tapped horizontal scrolling feature in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to like and share this story through our socials on Facebook and Twitter.

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