Want to add a link to your Instagram Story? We have good news and bad news. (And then more good news!)

The good news is that even though Instagram has retired its swipe-up feature, you can still add links to Stories using Instagram link stickers.

The bad news is that, so far, you still need 10,000 subscribers or a verified account to get access to link stickers.

Which leads us to the OTHER good news: we have a simple hack to add a link even if you don’t have access to link stickers, yet! Read on for all the steps.

Download your free pack of 72 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Wait, what was the Instagram swipe up feature?

The Instagram swipe up feature helped brands and influencers reach their audiences and gain more followers by allowing them to add links directly to their Instagram Stories.

Viewers could swipe up on a Story or tap an arrow at the bottom of their screen to access a link without leaving the Instagram app or navigating all the way back to the bio to find that “link in bio.”

But in August 2021 Instagram announced it was retiring the swipe-up feature. Why? Random theories abounded: perhaps Instagram has secret plans to make Stories move vertically like TikTok, rather than horizontally? The mystery remains unsolved. (Actually, Instagram did give its reasons, which we’ll get to in a second.)

Regardless, the end result is that now users can include links in their Stories by adding a link sticker, instead.

What is the Instagram link sticker?

The Instagram link sticker replaces the swipe up feature, letting users add an external link to an Instagram Story.

Story link stickers are the easiest way to promote multiple pieces of content and products on Instagram, while allowing analytics to help you optimize your Stories strategy.

Instagram says that when it comes to links, the sticker has three major advantages over the swipe-up feature:

  • Stickers are familiar and popular with users, who use them for music, questions, locations and polls, etc.
  • Stickers allow more creative control over how a Story looks than swipe up links did.
  • And most importantly, stickers allow viewers to engage with a Story, whereas the swipe-up feature didn’t allow replies or reactions.

Simply put: just like swipe-up before them, Instagram link stickers are an important tool for any Instagram business strategy.

How to use the Instagram link sticker

Instagram Stories only stay up for 24 hours, but adding a link to your Instagram Story is helpful for increasing your conversions, boosting organic engagement, and making it easier for your followers to access the content you want to share.

Instagram Story Sticker menu including link sticker

Source: Instagram

Here’s how to add a link sticker to your Instagram Story. (Spoiler: it’s the same as any sticker.)

  1. In the Instagram app, press the plus sign on the bottom center
  2. Scroll to select Story (rather than Post or Live).
  3. Create your Story using all the gorgeous media you have at your disposal.
  4. Tap the Sticker icon in the top row.
  5. Add your link.
  6. Then send to your Story, and you’re done!

Once you’ve posted your first link sticker, don’t forget to track your metrics so you can optimize your click-through rate.

If you aren’t getting as many taps as you want, make sure you have a clear call to action, and that you don’t overload one Instagram post with too much information. Still stumped? Read our five other reasons that your Stories might be failing to convert.

Download your free pack of 72 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Download the templates now!

Who can use the Instagram link sticker?

Since the Instagram link sticker launched, access has been limited to those accounts that also had access to the swipe-up feature. In other words, your account must be a business account with 10,000 followers or be verified on Instagram to use a link sticker.

Instagram says it is evaluating whether to make link stickers available to everyone, but it is concerned about safety and integrity, as well as the spread of spam and misinformation on the platform. Rest assured that we’ll keep our ears peeled for more news on this front.

How to use Instagram swipe up or link sticker without 10,000 followers

If you’re not verified or don’t have 10,000 followers, don’t worry. You can still add a link to your photo or video Story with this IGTV workaround:

Here’s how to add a link to your Instagram Story if you DON’T have 10,000 followers:

  • In the Instagram app, make or upload a 60 second video.
  • Write a title that says something like “Get the link!”.
  • Paste the link you want people to click in the caption.
  • Post the video to IGTV.
  • Now, on your feed, tap the paper plane icon under your new IGTV video.
  • Tap add video to your Story.
  • Tap on the link icon on top of your screen.
  • Select + IGTV Video.
  • Select the IGTV video with the link that you just created.
  • Tap Done.

And that’s it! You won’t be able to see it on your screen, but people will be able to swipe up, see your video, and tap on your link in your IGTV caption.

Other ways to use links on Instagram without the link sticker

Sharing links with your audience is useful whether your goals are relationship-building or converting. If getting your Instagram followers up to 10,000 is not in the cards quite yet, here are some alternatives:

Link in bio

You’re probably doing this already, but you can add a call to action and a link in the bio section of your Instagram profile. Some IG users choose to put the one specific link they want in their bio or use link shortening tools for customization.

You can also use tools that allow you to host multiple links on one landing page (less updating your links, more conversions!). It’s called an Instagram link tree and it’s very easy to make.

Just remember to say “link in bio” in your caption when you post (we did an experiment, and don’t worry, it won’t hurt your engagement if you say it.)

Use your DMs

Post your Story and let your followers know that they can DM you for a direct link. It’s super easy for them, and a great way to build a relationship with your audience since it might feel even more personal when they receive the link directly from you.

Bonus Tip: Use the DM Me sticker: your followers can get in touch with you in one tap!

Create a poll

Share your content and then create a poll that asks people if they want to be sent the link. All you have to do is check who said ‘yes’ to your poll and you can follow up with a link sent via direct message in the Instagram app.

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