I won’t lie, I had a very small heart attack this week when I saw the news Instagram was getting rid of their beloved ‘Swipe Up’ option for story posts. Swipe ups have long been a key tool within influencer partnerships to help drive those who engage with the content off-platform and to a brand’s website. The panic was a bit premature though, as Instagram had a solution. Not only that, but one I think will continue to open doors for the influencer sector and a brand’s success.

When is Swipe Up disappearing?

On the 30th of August, Instagram will retire the swipe up function and introduce something called a ‘link sticker’. The aim of this from the platform’s perspective is to give more ‘creative control’ to the user, as it allows them to modify the look and feel of the sticker, which wasn’t an option with a standard swipe up link.

Are there any additional benefits to using a link sticker?

The simple answer is, yes! Here’s why:

With the old swipe up format, users couldn’t reply to a story frame where the swipe up was used, because it replaced the comment box function. With a link sticker, people who want to message someone off the back of a story frame can now do so, even if it’s linking to an external page.

What’s also great about a link sticker is the fact it will make external backlinking more accessible to every Instagram user. Whereas previously you had to have a creator account with a minimum of 10,000 followers to use a swipe up, Instagram has said that eventually (though not currently), they’ll be rolling this feature out platform wide. For brands who want to partner with influencers and get greater success with nano- and micro-influencers who have a niche audience group, this means that soon they’ll also be able to link back to external brand platforms within their stories!

In a nutshell, this means more engagement, more influencer variety, more brand options, and better return on investment. Panic over – we’re happy about this. Thanks Instagram!