Instagram has announced that Link Stickers are rolling out to everyone on the Stories feature. Previously available for businesses and influencers, now anyone can create a story and attach a web link, making it much easier for anyone to find their favourite product or brand.
Instagram Stories enable a user to create a quick snapshot of what they may have seen on their travels, and this Story can last in 24 hours, where it expires. Similar to Snapchat Stories, the feature has been quickly picked up by Instagram users since its debut in 2016.
With link stickers now rolling out to everyone, it's something that creators can use to provide access to external content, sellers can use to link to goods for sale, and anyone can use to provide a link to a site that that provides additional information or context for their Story.
Stickers have long played an important role in numerous messaging apps and social networking platforms, and Instagram is no different in this regard. For the most part, stickers are simply amusing aesthetic additions to an image, but they can also be useful.
In addition to cartoon-style stickers, users have been able to add location, question and poll stickers to their stories for a while.
If this sounds a little familiar, it's because link sharing is not a completely new feature. Previously, however, the option to share links via "swipe-up" in Stories was only available to a limited number of people – specifically verified users and those with a certain follower count.
With the feature now available, you might well be wondering how to use it. In short, it is very simple, and very much the same process as adding other special stickers to your Stories.
- Fire up the Instagram app on your device
- Start a new Story and capture whatever content you want to include
- Tap the Sticker icon at the top of the screen
- Tap the Link sticker
- Enter the address you would like to link to and tap Done
- Reposition, recolor and customize the sticker in whatever you want
- Post your Story
Analysis: wider availability is welcome
It's good to see that Instagram has seen sense and decided to make this handy option available to everyone. While there is something to be said for limiting certain features to particularly popular or prominent users, any inequality in feature sets create a two-tier userbase.
The very idea behind social networking platform is to bring people together and by giving everyone access to the same tools, Instagram is helping to level the playing field a little. And as an added bonus, Link Stickers are really quite handy things to have!
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