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  • Meerelle Cruz

Instagram is Discontinuing Swipe-Up Links for Stories, Replacing Them with Link Stickers

Instagram is changing the way external links are shared within Stories frames as part of its continued push to increase interaction, with the current 'Swipe up' links being deleted totally and replaced by its new 'Link' sticker option instead.

Instagram confirmed to SMT that all users who can now access the swipe-up link for Stories will also be able to access the new link sticker, with swipe-up connections to Stories disappearing at the end of the month.

According to the prompt (posted by social media specialist Matt Navarra), users who can currently access swipe-up links will be redirected to the link sticker, which Instagram claims offers a variety of benefits:

  • Streamlined story creation - Stories stickers like Donation, Music, Poll, and now Link enables you to express yourself and share what matters to you on Instagram - in this case, links.

  • Added creative control - The sticker appears and performs similarly to others (e.g., question, poll, and location), giving the artist more options. It can be resized, changed styles, and positioned anywhere on your story for maximum impact.

  • Further engagement - We also know that people value connection and involvement. Users can get instant reactions and replies on posts with the link sticker, just like any other shared story (like the tray of emojis), however, the “swipe-up” link does not allow for comments.

The upgrade may be beneficial. For one thing, it will allow you to add links in more prominent places within your Stories frames, potentially giving you more methods to encourage click-throughs and allowing you to focus more on driving that action within your Story.

So, maybe by adding a Link sticker, which you can position wherever on top of your image, that will provide designers more presentation options to assist drive traffic, by presenting them more prominently within the frame. However, because the swipe-up prompt has become routine, changing user behaviors around link sharing in Stories may take some time. Still, there appears to be a possible option, and Instagram's initial testing must have shown a good response, at least to some extent.

The next question is whether the new Stories link option will eventually be made available to all users, or if, like the current 'Swipe-up' option, link stickers would be limited to verified profiles and/or those with more than 10k followers.

In June, then-Instagram Head of Product Vishal Shah told The Verge that the ultimate goal was to make link stickers available to all users, allowing for more functionality within the Stories process. However, it isn't quite there yet.

Instagram claims that integrity and safety will be the main focus with this new roll-out and that it will keep a close check on the links that people post via the option to ensure that it doesn't become another platform for spreading misinformation and spam. As a result, Instagram will have to roll out link stickers in stages, although it is considering expanding link access to additional accounts in the future. So, a new way to share links in Stories, which has been planned for quite some time. Will this assist your Stories efforts to get more referral traffic?

It certainly opens up a lot of new possibilities for your Storytelling strategy. Thus, it's time to start experimenting with the best locations for link stickers.

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