Until June, swipe-up links on Instagram presented a great way for users with 10,000 followers or above, namely influencers and celebrities, to share external affiliate links with their followers. It was at this time that Instagram started testing link stickers for these users, allowing them to include tappable hyperlinks on their story posts.
Today, the testing period of restricted sticker access has finished, and now all users, no matter their follower count, can use link stickers. To do so, users can head to the sticker tool on the top navigation bar when creating a story, tap the “Link” sticker and enter the URL that they would like their followers to head to.
A win for small businesses
Many small business owners use Instagram as a platform to market their products and services. In many cases, small business pages may not reach the 10,000 follower minimum that they previously needed to be able to link from their stories to their product, hindering their ability to grow. Now, without follower count restrictions, small businesses can boost their sales and engagement by adding link stickers to their stories.
This is also a win for smaller content creators and micro-influencers who are trying to grow their social media presence. Micro-influencers who are just starting out can now provide their followers with direct links to their other social channels, for example, a creator who regularly posts content on YouTube can now use Instagram to push their followers towards their channel.
Instagram has however confirmed that accounts seen to be repeatedly sharing misinformation or hate speech will lose access to link stickers, focussing solely on positive growth.
The lift of restrictions in Instagram link stickers shows that the value of smaller businesses, influencers, and creators has been understood, and they can now take the next steps in boosting their platforms and brands.