Instagram’s arbitrary rules for who gets to post links have always been frustrating. But now, the social media platform will allow anyone to post links in their Stories. Yes, anyone.
Previously, you could only share links in stories if you had at least 10,000 followers or a verified account. Hence, why you’d only see businesses or popular influencers telling you to “swipe up for link” and everyone else was relegated to the good ole “link in bio” workaround. Also, while you can put links in your posts, they’re not clickable. Instagram began testing an alternative link sticker earlier this summer, but it was only available to a select pool of users.
Not anymore! Now, we small fries and non-influencers can also post link stickers in our stories. To do so, all you have to do is create your story, select the sticker tool from the top navigation bar, and tap the “link” sticker. Once you’ve done that, you can add whatever URL you want to send your followers to, and tap “Done.” Anyone who then taps the sticker will be directed to the website you’ve linked. Instagram also said that it’s working on customization options so that users will eventually be able to add context to their links.
As for why Instagram is opening up links in stories, the official line is that “over the past year, [it’s] seen how impactful link sharing is to [the] Instagram community.” Sure. It’s likely Instagram knew that from the get-go because that’s literally how building a following works. However, increased competition from rival networks like, say, TikTok might have also spurred Instagram to make it easier for creators (and everyone else) to share content. Especially since TikTok still requires you to either use the Jumps feature or head on over to a creator’s link in bio.
That said, there are stipulations on who gets to keep link sticker privileges. Citing efforts to limit harmful content or misinformation, Instagram says that new accounts and users who repeatedly share hate speech, misinformation, or content that violates its Community Guidelines will not be able to access the link sticker. Earlier this month, some creators complained they were being unfairly punished by Instagram’s vague guidelines after receiving notifications they would no longer be able to use link stickers. While Instagram didn’t officially address that in its release, it did reference a blog on how users can check their status and appeal a decision.