[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Instagram kills off “swipe-up” Stories links

New Link Stickers take over the mantle from 30th Aug

From the end of August, Instagram will kill off the "swipe-up" link in Stories.

As of next week, the swipe-up feature is to be phased out and replaced with Link Stickers instead.

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, according to Instagram.

The Verge reported recently that the new Stories sticker had been in testing since June with a small handful of users. But after the weekend, it will begin to roll out more broadly.

Easier Instagram traffic for the privileged

Swipe-up within Stories has been a popular Instagram feature since the early days of Instagram Stories, introduced back in 2016.

While Instagram has historically offered much higher organic reach and engagement than Facebook, it's always been notoriously difficult to drive traffic from the popular photo-sharing app.

Before swiping up, and even since its launch, the most commonly used method for driving website traffic organically from Instagram has been via the bio link in the user profile.

However, changing the bio link every five minutes can be a real drag, not to mention easy to forget, especially if you're publishing multiple times a day and wanting to link to different landing pages. While services such as Linktree and Linkin.bio (Later.com) have made life easier, it remains hardly frictionless.

By comparison, when a swipe up link is added to a Story, viewers can hit the arrow at the bottom of their screen or swipe up on the Story to access the link. Enabling communicators to promote products, blog posts and sign up pages in a more seamless way, since these pages open right in the app for users to explore.

While the swipe-up conferred obvious benefits, there has, however, always been a catch.

To access the original Instagram swipe up feature and add links to your Instagram Stories, your account:

  • Must be an Instagram Business Profile and
  • Must have over 10,000 followers


  • Must be a verified account

A clear downside for a not insignificant number of active organisations on Instagram.

A better way

As the name suggests, Link Stickers will allow eligible users to place a sticker in their stories, which will enable users to tap through to an external place. Link Stickers will go live on August 30, 2021.

According to Insta, there will be a few key benefits to Link Stickers that a swipe-up couldn't provide:

  • Link Stickers can be toggled between different styles and sizes, letting users place it anywhere on a Story for maximum effect.
  • Viewers will be able to reply and react to Link Sticker posts. This wasn't available with swipe-up Stories.

Brands and marketers should see more engagement and interaction with Link Sticker stories and receive instant feedback.

If your account has access to a swipe-up link, you'll be given access to Link Stickers from go live. This includes users or businesses with verified profiles or enough followers.

Adding a swipe up link to a Stories post was pretty easy – just tap the link icon in the top middle of the screen while you're creating your post. Using Stories links will be just as easy, so don't fret.

Stickers, stickers everwhere 

Story Stickers are a great way of adding some personality to Stories and can be used to drive traffic, increase sales and boost engagement.

While it's easy to dismiss stickers as mere quirky, visual overlays, they pack a punch when it comes to driving marketing outcomes.

So much so that Instagram introduced interactive elements in stories ads in 2019, starting with the polling sticker.

Given the dropping reach in Instagram Stories, driving more direct interaction with audiences via stickers becomes ever more important.

Brands and marketers can use them to run polls, quizzes, raise money for charity, encourage followers to send DMs, add locations to Stories. In addition to now adding links.

All up, there are 14 stickers that help you jazz up your Story. Make sure you use them.

Photo by Kate Torline on Unsplash

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