[Social Media Marketing News] Instagram is removing their Swipe Up feature
Aug 25, 2021 6:00 PM
If your company heavily relies on social media as a promotional platform, then you’re aware of Instagram's Swipe Up feature. Surprisingly, Instagram announced that this feature will be removed on 30th August. Replacing the Swipe Up feature is the Link Sticker where users can customise and share links for a set period of time.
The evolution of link sharing
Instagram’s Swipe Up feature allows users to add external links to Stories. Followers only need to “swipe up” in order to reach an external website. This feature is used by many companies and online stores to promote and guide their customers from their social media page to the designated shopping page, this also helps to increase the reach of their website. The Swipe Up function is only available for verified accounts or those who have at least 10,000 followers. Instagram accounts which fulfill this requirement have access to the Swipe Up feature, however followers can’t reply on posts with the Swipe Up link. IInstagram hopes to improve the user experience by updating the link sharing function and developing creative ways to interact on their platform. In June, Instagram started to test their new feature Link Sticker, which targets a wider user base - allowing accounts with less followers to share links freely. Once the new Link Sticker feature has been rolled out, users have more creative control to customise the size, style and positioning of their links. Adding the Link Sticker function to an Instagram Story is similar to adding a Poll, Question or Location to your post. Viewers now have the freedom to react and reply to Link Sticker posts which were previously not available with the Swipe Up posts.
Vishal Shah the former Head of Product at Instagram said that Link Stickers are more in line with the habits of Instagram users than the Swipe Up function. The main reason why the Swipe Up function will be removed is to increase the user base. The Link Sticker function will be released in phases, which will be enabled first to users who originally have access to the Swipe Up function. For companies and e-commerce stores, using these social media platforms to direct traffic to their website is an effective means of promoting their products. It also encourages a more interactive way to reach their customer base. Although the replacement of the Swipe Up function by the Link Sticker seems to be a subtle change since you could still use Instagram’s other built in functions for cross platform access, it is still an important change which will have an impact on companies that rely on Instagram for their business.
Opportunities and Challenges of Link Sticker
Link Sticker encourages more interaction between the brand and its followers. Unlike Swipe Up which only offers a single function of directing followers to an external website, users can reply and react to the Link Sticker posts before they head to the relevant website.This makes the action of sharing a link more interactive rather than just displaying information. With more opportunity to react and reply to a Link Sticker post, this allows companies to gather feedback on their products and services. Another advantage of using Link Stickers is that companies can typeset and add more details to the post, so that the information conveyed is concise. Users can combine Link Sticker posts with other features such as Location, Polls and Questions for a dynamic post. With Link Stickers it can also help to increase the chances of a higher click through rate of the shared link. Companies can utilize different Link Stickers to optimise interaction and improve their online operations and promotion efficiency. Once this feature is available to all users and widely used, followers may grow tired of Link Stickers and choose not to click on the posts. At this time, companies need to consider how to stand out from the excessive use of Link Stickers and encourage their followers to click the URL.
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