Instagram Accidentally Rolls Out Horizontal Scroll, Freaks Out Users (NASDAQ:FB)

Gerardo Harmon
December 30, 2018

It was all part of a test change Instagram has been considering, that would do away with the up-and-down thumb swipe that's become the standard way we practically scroll through anything in the modern age.

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Curious to see if Instagram moves forward with this update after all the backlash? The new app dynamics now require users to tap on the left or right side of the screen in order to look through their feed of accounts they follow.

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While this update could prove to be beneficial for businesses using Instagram marketing to spotlight ads, there are downfalls to match - including less exposure in feeds and decreased engagement (beyond the newest Instagram algorithm update).

Thursday's surprise update - which mirrored uproar Snapchat received earlier this year when it redesigned how its users see stories on the app - wasn't the only recent change for Instagram. Users of the service caught a glimpse of an in-development UI, after Instagram accidentally rolled it out to everyone. "We apologize for any confusion", a spokesperson said via email.

It's likely - having put the time into developing this "feature" - that Instagram does intend to make horizontal scrolling an option in future, if not the default interface.

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But as users pointed out that tapping the picture in the middle would ensure that the image got liked, even if that's not what the user wanted to do. "Tap through posts, just like you tap through stories".

Adam Mosseri, Instagram's vice president of product management who only hopped on board the company a few months ago, gave a more lucrative answer and explained that it was a mishap. Instagram appears to be introducing sideways scrolling through its timeline as opposed the up and down format it has always used. Clearly, the "accident" was more of a user feedback on a feature yet to be rolled out, and will work as more of a happy accident for the company. The rapper Skepta, who has 1.6 million followers on the Facebook-owned platform, simply posted to Twitter "Instagram".

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