Instagram blames ‘bug’ for design change that prompted backlash

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In an unexpected update, users were told to "tap" on the screen to move horizontally through posts rather than scroll vertically.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has since clarified that Instagram accidentally rolled out the test to more users than intended.

A "bug" caused the small test to be distributed much more widely, according to the company, and the feedback was instant. Should be fixed now.

Nearly as soon as the change was made, users took to Twitter to complain and demand the return of the familiar up-and-down scrolling method. In the horizontal feed, you have to flick left or right every time you want to see a new photo.

The terms "New Instagram" and #instagram update were both trending in Boston.

Given the extremely negative response that the updated received from its users, Instagram may think twice about releasing the update to the public. Instagram initially tested the design in October, exclusively on the Explore page.

Facebook is relying increasingly on growth at Instagram, which now has about 1 billion users, as its flagship social media network has nearly reached saturation point.

A number of us at Engadget have the new feed orientation as well, though for some people, the new feature hasn't yet reached all of their accounts. First, users have to uninstall Instagram from their phone by going to "Settings" and then "Apps and notifications". "We apologize for any confusion", a representative said.

It's not out of the question that the horizontal interface might come back in the future, after Instagram tweaks it a bit further.