Instagram temporarily switched to a horizontal scrolling feed, freaked users out

Earlier this month, Facebook-owned Instagram was found testing card-based UI for its Android and iOS apps which employed horizontal scrolling feed. Well, Instagram is still testing this new UI, but yesterday, Instagram users suddenly saw this new feed and freaked out.


If you are an Instagram user, you already know that the app’s feed employs vertical scrolling. To check all the posts in your feed, you have to scroll vertically. It has been this way right since the app’s inception. However, for a short time yesterday, Instagram’s feed switched from vertical scrolling to horizontal scrolling.

To be more precise, Instagram’s feed became more like Instagram Stories (complete with ads, of course). While you can check new posts by scrolling horizontally, you can also tap on the edges to move through posts. This, however, made scrolling through the posts quickly very difficult.


With this new UI, if you flick upwards, you would see the comments for the post. And, as far as the Stories Bar is concerned, it stays up at the top; unlike vertical scrolling where you have to go back to the top of the feed to check out the Stories. Well, this is the only thing we liked about the horizontal scrolling feed.

That being said, horizontal scrolling feed not only makes it difficult to scroll through the posts quickly, but also makes it difficult to go back to the top of the feed. With vertical scrolling feed, it’s easier to go back to the top of the feed by tapping on the Home icon, but that’s not the case here with horizontal scrolling feed. And, the only thing you can do is either manually scroll back to the first post which can be tedious, or just refresh the feed with a pull-down gesture.

Having said that, this sudden switch was caused due to a bug and users have got their vertical scrolling feeds back. Either way, users weren’t happy with this horizontal scrolling feed.

Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today. We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal. We apologize for any confusion,” said Instagram in a tweet.

Even though a bug caused Instagram user feeds to switch from vertical to horizontal scrolling, it shows the company, sooner or later, will roll-out this change. It’s just a matter of time. But, whenever it does, we hope it will bring in a better experience to the users than the one they had yesterday.