Instagram is ditching ‘swipe-up’ links in favor of stickers
Instagram is ditching the “swipe-up” link in Instagram Stories starting on August 30. The popular feature has historically allowed businesses and high-profile creators a way to direct their Story’s viewers to a website where they could learn more about a product, read an article, sign up for a service or do anything else the creator wanted to promote. In place of the “swipe-up” call to action, Instagram users who previously had access to the feature will instead be able to use the new Link Sticker, the company says.
This sticker had been in testing starting in June with a small handful of users, the company said. But on August 30, it will begin to roll out more broadly.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong first noticed the announcement, which warned creators of the plan to shut down swipe-up links.
Instagram says it will begin to convert those who currently have access to the swipe-up link to the Link Sticker starting on August 30, 2021. This will include businesses and creators who are either verified or who have met the threshold for follower count. (While Instagram doesn’t publicly comment on this count, it’s widely reported to be at least 10,000 followers.)
The new Link Sticker has a couple of key advantages over the older “swipe-up” link.
For starters, it offers greater creator control over their Stories.
Like polls, questions and location stickers, the Link Sticker lets creators toggle between different styles, resize the sticker, and then place it anywhere on the Story for maximum engagement. In addition, viewers will now be able to react and reply to posts that have the Link Sticker attached, just like any other Story. Before, that sort of feedback wasn’t possible on posts with the swipe-up link, Instagram noted.
While there isn’t a change to who will gain access to the Link Sticker for now, Instagram says it’s evaluating whether to expand link access to more accounts in the future. The decision to expand access is one that has to be made carefully, however, as it could impact the app’s integrity and safety. For instance, if Link Sticker were to be adopted by bad actors, it could be used to spread misinformation or post spam. The shift to the Link Sticker is the first step in making it possible to broaden access to link sharing in Stories, if Instagram chooses to go that route.
Overall, the move away from a gesture to sticker is more in line with Instagram’s current creative direction, where interactive features are added to posts in the form of stickers. The new Link Sticker will join others already available in the app, including stickers for donations, music and polls.
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