Instagram got rid of scrolling — and it was all a big mistake

A prompt for Instagram’s new approach to feed posts — tapping, rather than scrolling.

SAN DIEGO — People who start their day by scrolling through Instagram were in for a big surprise when they opened the app Thursday — and apparently, it was all a big misunderstanding.

Rather than the traditional approach of scrolling through images and videos posted by accounts users follow, the social media platform prompted people to tap on the right and left sides of their screen to move through the feed. It was a huge shift for an app synonymous with scrolling. The new way of navigating the app mirrored the way users move through the popular “stories” feature.

But the Head of Instagram says it was a big mix-up and users will see their feed revert to scrolling as soon as they restart the app. According to tweets from Adam Mosseri, the change was only meant to go to a very limited number of users as a test:

Instagram’s official account later confirmed the change was the result of a “bug”:

The big shift was rolled out through over-the-air updates — meaning users got the change whether they liked it or not. Most seemed to fall into the latter category:

If the test’s goal was to gauge users’ reactions to a new navigation method, Instagram got an emphatic response from a much larger sample size than they bargained for.

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