Where Were You During the Great Instagram Catastrophe of 2018?

Video: Shaina Travis

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day should ideally be one that gently eases us into the existential horror of yet another year spent on this increasingly dying planet, but on Thursday morning, Instagram decided to fuck with us all with an app update that no one asked for (and one which appeared to just be a way to force us all to see more ads). And then, as quickly and quietly as it appeared, it disappeared.

The Jezebel staff were busy being diligent bloggers when we first learned of the change to Instagram’s feed:

Illustration for article titled Where Were You During the Great Instagram Catastrophe of 2018?

“A NIGHTMARE,” Reynolds continued. “God, tech companies are staffed by actual clowns,” Kelly Faircloth, an expert on both clowns and tech companies, wrote.

People were not pleased. I mustered up a mild outrage, largely over the fact that the whims of a massive tech company could even generate my outrage, as well as a bit of nausea from constantly scrolling from the Stories bar at the top to the new horizontal feed. As an Old and someone who rarely uses Twitter or Facebook these days but maintains a sincere devotion to photos of my friend’s babies as well as strangers’ babies, would this finally force me to give up altogether on yet another social media platform? If I deleted Instagram, could anything in my life bring me as much joy as this account? Did I really want to see more ads from L.L. Bean or yet another “disruptive” toothbrush company in 2019?

Less than an hour later, Instagram quietly reverted back to normal. According to the head of Instagram, it was all a mistake.


Crisis averted.

Senior reporter, Jezebel

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


I heart Westies

All anyone wants from Instagram is for it to go back to the way it originally was - a chronological order starting with the most recent photos of everyone you follow, not just 15% of who you follow. It’s all anyone has ever wanted. If there have to be ads thrown into the mix, fine, so be it, but give us back our timeline and the accounts we follow.