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Instagram tests new link feature

06 July 2021

Unless you have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, you may have noticed that only a select few accounts can share links in their stories. This is all about to change. Instagram is starting to test link stickers, rather than a swipe-up link you may be used to. Instead of swiping up on a story with a link, you’ll now have to tap the link sticker to reach the intended website. Instagram is also introducing the ability to react to stories with link stickers, which is currently not possible with the swipe up link feature.

Sticking to a small few

With over 1 billion active daily users, it is worth noting that this new feature is only being tested across a small number of accounts, so you may not see this feature on your account right away. Instagram’s VP of Product, Vishal Shah, has explained that the link sticker feature is mostly to see how people take advantage of links. They’ll be keeping a close eye on the types of links people are posting and whether accounts are misinforming their followers or using spam links. Instagram has also noted that the transition to link stickers simplifies the system and works better with how people use the platform. 

Even though Instagram will be trialling this feature across a wide range of accounts, it is still unsure as to whether it will be officially rolled out among everyone or people who already have link privileges. However, it has been confirmed that links will be sticking to stories with no plans to roll out onto main feeds, any time soon.

Linking together

Activist accounts have long mastered the art of call-to-action posts, but they’ve not yet been able to send their responses to their website through Instagram before. This test may finally change this, as the platform is targeting people who have recently found a voice on Instagram. So you won’t need 10,000+ followers or a verified account to fit the bill, as was the previous formula for link privileges. 

This test may be small and we’re not likely to see the platform change overnight, but it may mean that browsing the web on Instagram becomes much more second nature. 

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