UPDATE: Instagram has confirmed that the change in the feed to a horizontal, Stories-like design was not a deliberate act. The company says a bug was responsible for users losing access to the traditional vertical feed, in favour of a swipe-and-tap design.
The confirmation comes following an outcry from users on social media on Thursday morning. However, shortly after Instagram fans vented their fury, their feeds switched back to normal. In a tweet on Thursday, Instagram apologised for the confusion.
Original story continues below…
Instagram briefly unveiled a dramatic redesign of its app, with the main feed of images and videos switching to a horizontal Stories-like design.
The update, which began rolling out to users before it was almost immediately pulled back, replaced the vertical scrolling feed which has been a staple since the first version of the app.
Instead of idly scrolling with a thumb, the new design forced Instagram users to tap left and right to switch between posts.
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That means it’s impossible just to quickly browse through your feed, because you can only tap one post at a time. It’s clear Instagram has done this to ensure users pay more attention to advertisements and, if the new design fully rolls out, we can probably expect to see a lot more of them.
As for Stories themselves, they’re available from any point within the app by pulling down on the screen.
The company had been testing this via the Explore page since October, but it’s still a surprise to see such a brief, yet dramatic change to its main feed.
Whether it was pushed to users accidentally remains to be seen, but those who reported seeing the update now say it has reverted back to the original design. It may well be an accident because Instagram usually pushes out new features with an accompanying blog post.
Naturally, scores of people were unhappy with the update, with users taking to Twitter to register their displeasure on the record. “WTF Instagram” was trending on Twitter on Thursday.
The outpouring of protest is reminiscent of the Snapchat update of 2018, which forced the company into a climbdown, not before it lost scores of users.
Whether it’s enough to convince Instagram this update is doomed to fail remains to be seen.
Were you able to preview the new Instagram on Thursday? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.