Instagram Horizontal Scrolling Sparks Fierce Backlash

Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ: FB) photo-sharing social network Instagram was pilloried online after a bug fix switched its scrolling feature to horizontal instead of vertical. The momentary change sparked widespread outrage among users on Twitter. Instagram has now rolled back the update.

The app update introduced a redesigned feed that removed vertical scrolling in favor of a horizontal feed that you tap through. The change meant that some users had to tap and swipe their feed horizontally to view new posts, similar to its Stories feature. The update also forced users to tap or swipe past each photo in gallery-style ad posts in order to move on.

Those who received the update promptly started posting to social media about the redesign. The update appeared to affect iPhone users, but not those with Androids or those using the app on desktop. The number of users affected has not been disclosed.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri apologized for the confusion Instagram released a statement saying the bug fix led to a small test of horizontal scrolling being distributed much more widely than intended. Instagram said in an emailed statement, “We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal.” Users can change their feed back to the way it was before by closing and reopening the app.

Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Since that time, the photo-sharing service has grown from about 40 million users to more than one billion users. As of June, Instagram was on track to generate about $5.5 billion in ad revenue in the United States this year.