Instagram is changing the way external links are shared within Stories frames as part of its ongoing effort to improve Story interaction. The current ‘Swipe up’ links will be removed entirely and replaced by the new ‘Link’ sticker option.
Instagram confirmed to SMT that all users who currently have access to the swipe-up link for Stories will also have access to the new link sticker, as swipe-up links for Stories will be removed at the end of the month.
According to the prompt (shared by social media expert Matt Navarra), those who currently have access to swipe-up links will revert to the link sticker, which Instagram claims have a number of advantages:
A simplified story creation experience – Stories stickers such as Donation, Music, Poll, and now Link enable you to express yourself and share what matters to you on Instagram – in this case, links.
Increased creative control – The sticker looks and behaves identically to the others (i.e. question, poll, and location), giving the creator increased creative control. It can be styled in a variety of ways, resized, and positioned anywhere on your story for maximum impact.
Additional engagement – We also know that people value engagement and closeness. Users can receive quick reactions and replies to posts that include the link sticker, just as they can with any other shared story (e.g. the tray of emojis), but not with the “swipe-up” link.
The update could very well be beneficial. For one thing, it enables more prominent link placement within your Stories frames, which may provide you with additional opportunities to entice click-throughs and place a greater emphasis on driving that action within your Story.
Currently, the ‘Swipe up for more’ prompt is displayed at the bottom of the screen, so perhaps adding a Link sticker, which can be placed anywhere on top of your visual, will provide creators with additional presentation options to help drive traffic by prominently displaying them within the frame (you can see this in the top example above).
However, because the swipe-up prompt has become ingrained in users’ behaviour, it may take some time to shift user behaviour around link sharing in Stories. Nonetheless, it appears to be a viable opportunity, and initial results of Instagram’s testing must have indicated a favourable response, at least in part.
The next question is whether the new Stories link option will eventually be available to all users, or whether it will remain restricted to verified profiles and/or those with more than 10,000 followers, as is the case with the current ‘Swipe-up’ option.
In June, then-Instagram Head of Product Vishal Shah told The Verge that the eventual goal was to make link stickers available to all users, allowing for increased functionality within the Stories process.
“That is the type of future system we hope to achieve, and that is what we hope to implement if we can make this work.”
However, it is not quite there yet.
Instagram says that with this new roll-out, it will prioritize integrity and safety, and it will monitor the links shared via the option to ensure that it does not become another platform for spreading misinformation and spam.
As a result, Instagram will introduce link stickers in stages, but it is considering expanding link access to additional accounts in the future.
Thus, a new way to share links in Stories, which had been in the works for quite some time. Will this assist you in generating additional referral traffic from your Stories efforts?
It certainly expands the possibilities for your Stories approach.
It’s time to begin experimenting with the optimal location of link stickers.