Instagram will soon let all its users share links on their story with a new linking sticker. Instagram has always limited who can post swipe-up links on their stories, but the company is starting a new test that will make the feature accessible to all. However it won’t be a swipe up, but a linking sticker which people will be able to offer and will work exactly the same way as swipe up does. Users will also be able to respond and react to stories that include a linking sticker, which presently they can’t do with stories that have a swipe up.
Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, told The Verge “it’s mostly to learn how people might take advantage of links. They’ll be watching for the types of links people post while keeping a particular eye on misinformation and spam. Plus, stickers, he says, fit more into the current way people use the platform, so he says this test brings links into the same kind of overall system, which from a simplicity of system perspective, also makes a lot of sense.”
He adds that link stickers are the eventual goal for Instagram, whether that be for everyone or just people who already have linking privileges. “That is the sort of future system we would like to get to,” he says. “And that’s what we hope to roll out, if we’re able to make this work.” Furthermore Vishal has also confirmed that for now links will be available only on stories and Instagram has no plan to bring them to the feed or any other part of the app.
According to The Verge, “This test seems mostly targeted at people who’ve found a voice and reach on the platform, but maybe not to the levels that Instagram requires to gain swipe-up privileges. (Users have to be verified or have at least 10,000 followers.) Activists, for example, have mastered the art of call-to-action posts but haven’t been able to direct people to website resources. This might make that possible. Again, it’s only a small test, so the platform won’t rapidly change overnight, but it might be the start of people web browsing from within the Instagram app more frequently.“