Instagram on Thursday apologized for a "bug" that resulted in a widely criticized horizontal scrolling update that was reversed within hours after its rollout.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri tweeted Thursday morning that the change was supposed to be a "very small test" that went "broader than we anticipated."
The Facebook-owned app's new feature introduced horizontal scrolling, making users' feeds appear similar to Instagram "stories."
Sorry about that, this was supposed to be a very small test but we went broader than we anticipated.— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) December 27, 2018
Within two hours, Instagram reverted to vertical scrolling.
"Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today," an Instagram spokesperson told The Hill. "We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal. We apologize for any confusion.”
This shows the new Instagram feed scrolling experience. pic.twitter.com/tShegRfMFJ— NBC News Tech (@NBCNewsTech) December 27, 2018
Large-scale updates for social media platforms have often been met with significant backlash, and this update was no different.
Shortly after the update was rolled out, #Instagramupdate became the No. 1 trending hashtag in the U.S., with users complaining that it was an unwanted change. Some threatened to delete or boycott the app in protest.
when you see the new instagram update pic.twitter.com/nfv9GS0yWX— amy (@irlsloth) December 27, 2018
Mosseri has been responding to criticisms via Twitter, apologizing and repeating that it was a "test that went to a few orders of magnitude more than people intended."
Sorry for the confusion! Always trying new ideas, usually with a much smaller number of people...— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) December 27, 2018
Techcrunch earlier this year reported that Facebook was considering a scrolling feature similar to the one released by Instagram on Thursday.
Some users compared the Instagram update to the Snapchat redesign earlier this year, which was scrapped after a petition to redo the redesign received more than 1 million signatures.