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Instagram axes swipe up for link stickers

Instagram Marketing Tips Oct 14, 2021
Instagram axes swipe up for link stickers


Say goodbye to the iconic Instagram feature - swipe up links. This monumental move is another huge step in a series of bold changes Instagram has been implementing recently. Instagram has decided to move away from swipe up links entirely in favour of link stickers. This big change made an entire collection of GIF stickers dedicated solely to the Instagram-specific feature redundant in one swoop.
Why is Instagram making this move and what does it mean for you?


Having links in stories posts is an integral feature for so many Instagram users because it makes it easy for creators on Instagram to link directly to external websites. This has been particularly useful when creating stories highlights full of useful information, products and promotions etc.

Don’t worry! You can still do all this, only instead of using swipe up links you can now add links in the form of stickers in your stories.

Image by Instagram of the new link stickers feature replacing swipe up links
Image by Instagram

Stickers Make Sense


Link stickers are a logical step towards a cohesive sticker-based stories feature pool. Viewers tap on stickers to interact with them instead of swiping up on their screens. This could be seen as a much easier option for the end user as swiping up on the iPhone can bring up the Control Centre, making swiping up a bit fiddly.

Instagram already has stickers for a number of stories features including:

  • locations
  • mentions
  • hashtags
  • questions
  • GIFs,
  • music
  • polls,
  • donations
  • quizzes
  • countdowns
  • food orders

…and more.

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to add links in the form of stickers.

Sticker features in the Instagram stories creator (location, music, poll, donation etc.)
Sticker features in the Instagram stories creator


Link stickers currently have the same restrictions as swipe up links had. You have to have a professional profile and at least 10,000 followers, or be a verified profile to post stories with links. Instagram has been testing options to roll out stories links to accounts with smaller amounts of followers, but there are some concerns over spam and misinformation, which Instagram is keen to avoid. By keeping the current threshold Instagram aims to limit the misuse of the links feature on the platform.

Many businesses have been embracing link stickers since the rollout started at the end of August 2021. Check out link stickers in action below.


To add a link sticker:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Swipe right on the home feed to access the stories creator.
  3. Make sure the bottom bar is set to story (not post, reels or live).
Step 3: Select ‘story’ from the bottom bar - how to use link stickers on Instagram
Step 3: Select ‘story’ from the bottom bar

4. Create your stories picture or video using the options available. If you want a cool background option, try adding your own colour gradient!

5. Select the stickers icon from the top bar.

Step 5: Select the stickers icon - how to use link stickers on Instagram
Step 5: Select the stickers icon from the options at the top of the screen

6. Select the link sticker.

7. Add your desired link.

8. Post your story.


It will be strange to see swipe up links disappear, but it’s a move that makes sense given the way Instagram presents its other features.

Putting links in story posts is just one of the ways you can use links on the platform. Utilising the link in your bio through a service, adding links through the shopping feature and adding links in your IGTV description are just some of the ways links can serve you on Instagram. Keep your eyes peeled as we explore more of these in the coming weeks.

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Sarah Rachel

Fan of tea, rock music and fluffy animals.

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