Instagram is replacing its ‘swipe up’ feature for adding links within stories with a new Link Sticker, in a bid to create more engagement for users, and it could soon be available to even the smallest of small businesses.
As of Monday, August 30, rather than users swiping up to follow a link through a story post, they will click on a sticker to be redirected.
And, while the ‘swipe up’ feature has only been available to accounts with more than 10,000 followers, Instagram is reportedly “evaluating” whether the new so-called Link Sticker could be made available to everyone.
The update is intended to “help us determine whether it’s the right decision before expanding access to more people,” a statement from Instagram said.
The new feature has been in testing with a select group of users since June.
According to Instagram, the sticker is intended to provide additional creative control, allowing users to reposition and resize in order to best fit within the post.
It will also allow for more engagement. Currently, swipe up posts do not allow for replies or reactions, whereas posts with the Link Sticker will.
If made available to all users, it could also open up those benefits to smaller, boutique businesses that have previously not been able to easily direct users to their own websites, press coverage or other resources.
However, Instagram says it is looking carefully into aspects of integrity and safety, and concerns that opening up access to the sticker could lead to the spread of misinformation.
The news comes in the same week that Instagram has launched ads in its shopping tabs, globally.
Again, the change has been rolled out following a period of testing in the US, and marks something of an evolution of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. It has also previously added shopping in the ‘reels’ function, as it has shifted its focus from images to video.