On August 30, Instagram will discontinue the “swipe-up” link in Instagram Stories. Since when viewers can direct their Stories to websites where they can learn about a product, read an article, sign up for a service, or whatever else a creator wants to promote. This feature has been handy to both businesses and high-profile creators.
The announcement was made by Jane Manchun Wong, an app researcher who first noticed the change.
Link Sticker will replace the “swipe-up” call to action on Instagram, the company says. Users previously able to use the feature will now be able to use it instead. The sticker had been tested with a small number of users since June, according to the company. However, the service will begin to be rolled out more widely on August 30.
From August 30, 2021, the Instagram Link Sticker will be made available to those who currently have access to the swipe-up link. All verified businesses and creators who have at least 50 followers will be included in this category. According to reports, Instagram has at least 10,000 followers (although Instagram doesn’t publicly comment on this).
Link Stickers have several advantages over older “swipe-up” links. It allows creators to be more in control of their stories.
The Link Sticker can be styled in different ways, resized, and positioned anywhere on the Story for maximum engagement. Just like polls, questions, and location stickers, the Link Sticker lets creators choose different styles and placement options according to their needs. The Link Sticker will also enable viewers to react and respond to stories just as they would with any other story. According to Instagram, swipe-up links couldn’t yield this kind of feedback before.
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Instagram says it is evaluating whether to extend Link Sticker access to other accounts in the future, but there is no change to who can see the Link Sticker for now. Expanding access must be carefully considered, however, since it could affect the integrity and security of the app. It could, for example, be abused by bad actors in order to spread misinformation or spread spam. If Instagram does decide to move to Story Link sharing, this is the first step towards broadening access to the feature.
It follows Instagram’s current creative direction of adding interactive elements through stickers instead of gestures. Besides Link Stickers, there are also stickers for music, donations, and polls in the app.