Instagram Swipes Back On Horizontal Test After It Deploys To More Users Than Expected

By 12/27/2018
Instagram Swipes Back On Horizontal Test After It Deploys To More Users Than Expected

Instagram faced immediate backlash after mistakenly rolling out a test feature to a significantly larger number of app users than it intended to. The feature changed feed scrolling from vertical to horizontal, and made users tap or swipe each time they wanted to move to a new post.

“Seems maybe intended to reduce mindless vertical scrolling?” reporter Alex Heath tweeted (along with a sarcastic “I’m sure this will not be met with any backlash WHATSOEVER”).

Instagram’s recently-onboarded CEO Adam Mosseri responded to Heath, confirming that horizontal scrolling was “supposed to be a very small test, but we went broader than we anticipated.” The test has since been pulled, and Mosseri said anyone still seeing horizontal scrolling should reboot the app, and it’ll be fixed.

In the brief period of time the feature was live, it prompted a wave of upset on social media.

An Instagram rep told Variety that the bigger-than-expected rollout was due to a bug, but didn’t offer any other information about whether horizontal scrolling will be re-tested or how serious the company is about considering it for full-scale implementation.

While Heath had Mosseri on the line, though, he asked the exec about another of Instagram’s much-disliked features — one that did end up sticking around: