Instagram is on a mission — a mission to make its mobile app harder to use. Between forcing an algorithmic timeline and bloating the app with more and more unrelated features, it has turned from a simple photo-sharing app to Facebook's way of capturing the post-Facebook generation. Users of the service caught a glimpse of an in-development UI, after Instagram accidentally rolled it out to everyone.
Instead of a timeline that scrolls vertically, the new interface has posts on a horizontal scroll. Only the username and media are visible at first glance — you have to tap it to see the caption, number of likes, and any comments. As you might imagine, user reactions were mixed.
— 😈 (@daaakes) December 27, 2018
I love the new #instagram. I was only just thinking how I wished it was more like Tinder and then I could spend more time falling in love with the ten billion adverts forced upon me *sorry* carefully, lovingly curated by the clever little algorithm #newinstagram #cute 😍
— Daniel Robinson (@mrdanielr) December 27, 2018
— Jamie (@Jamiehm92) December 27, 2018
— Chris (@dunkelsama) December 27, 2018
Instagram told TechCrunch that the wide rollout was the result of a bug, and the old interface should reappear for all users soon. "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," a representative said.
It's not out of the question that the horizontal interface might come back in the future, after Instagram tweaks it a bit further. If you're getting sick of Instagram's terrible UI changes and algorithms, there's always PixelFed.