Instagram is about to implement a change that will see the social media site do away with the swipe up feature in stories, opting instead for tappable link stickers that will take users to external websites.
The changes will come into effect on August 30, 2021.
The company explained its decision to swap swipe ups to stickers in order to “streamline the stories creation experience” and offer more “creative control” due to the fact account holders can actually format the stickers to their liking, as opposed to having to choose from one of the existing swipe up GIFSs.
According to TechCrunch, the sticker feature was first tested in June with just a handful of users but will roll out more broadly come the end of August.
Historically, verified users or those with more than 10,000 followers could add the swipe up link to their stories in order to take viewers to a separate website in order to read an article, shop a product, download a song or anything else the account holder was promoting. These same users will now be the ones with access to the stickers feature but there are also reports that the change will apply to everyone.
TechCrunch noted that, in addition to creative control, the other benefits of the new rollout included means that creators will be able to toggle between different styles, resize the sticker, and place it anywhere on the story for maximum engagement — much like you can with polls, questions and geotags.
Viewers will now also be able to react and reply to posts that have the Link Sticker attached, just like any other story — an option that wasn’t available on posts with the swipe-up link.
Instagram has said that its considering whether to grant Link Sticker access to more accounts in the future — which could help budding influencers grow their business quickly and allow journalists with less than 10,000 followers an easier way to share their work.
Of course, with the alarming amount of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine that is spread via social media, the company wants to ensure that granting everyone sticker access won’t exacerbate the problem.
The reactions to the change, so far, have been fairly mild with one Twitter user posting, “Instagram is retiring the swipe up. Immediate thought: I feel for all influencers and brands that already have pre-recorded videos with “swipe up” audio and gestures scheduled for September.”
Instagram is retiring the swipe up. Immediate thought: I feel for all influencers and brands that already have pre-recorded videos with “swipe up” audio and gestures scheduled for September. 🥴 https://t.co/8KwiToZrNJ
— Cristina Nogueras (@cmnoguer) August 24, 2021
Others expressed their excitement at the possibility that they would soon have access to the new feature, whose predecessor was previously reserved only for those who were deemed “Insta-famous.”
Instagram is finally getting rid of the swipe up feature and replacing it with a sticker link feature on stories for EVERYONE at the end of August. Promo IG with > 10k followers we about to eat🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/2Ewz1KIa5Q
— Thendo Muloiwa (@MuloiwaThendo) August 23, 2021