Instagram's latest test getting rid of vertical scroll went pretty poorly

Cue the drama.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
Social Media Applications

A test change to Instagram got out of control.

Getty Images

Some people logged into Instagram on Thursday to an unwelcome surprise: Their vertical scrolling through images had disappeared.

It was all a test for a change that Instagram's been considering to do away with the up-and-down swipe that's become the standard way we scroll through practically everything in the modern age. Instead, Instagram's been thinking about having people scroll side to side or tap to go through their feed.

Adam Mosseri, who heads Instagram, tweeted that this newest change wasn't intended to be tested on so many people.

Instagram has tested these types of changes in the past as part of a broader effort for the Facebook-owned social network to draw in more people and to get its users to interact with the app more often. The app counts more than a billion people who log in each month, making it one of the largest social networks on the planet, behind Facebook itself, which counts more than 2 billion people.

Regardless of Instagram's intentions this time around, the whole experience caused quite a stir, with people taking to Twitter to complain about how confusing everything had become.

The bottom line is that you probably shouldn't screw with people's Instagram during the holidays.

Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations -- erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves -- with everyday tech. Here's what happens.

Fight the Power: Take a look at who's transforming the way we think about energy.