How to add a link to Instagram stories (RIP swipe up)

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

The good news is that even though Instagram has pulled the drag-up feature, you can still add links to Stories using Instagram stickers with links.

The bad news is that by now you still need 10,000 subscribers or a verified account to access the links.

Which brings us to OTHER good news: we have an easy way to add a link even if you don’t have access to link labels yet! Read on for all the steps.

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Wait, what is this finger swipe feature on Instagram?

The Instagram drag-and-drop feature has helped brands and influencers reach their audiences and gain more followers by allowing them to add links directly to their Instagram stories.

Viewers can swipe up on the Story page or tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to access the link without leaving the Instagram app or navigating all the way to the biography to find that “link in the biography”.

But in August 2021, Instagram announced it was pulling the drag-up feature. Why? There were random theories: maybe Instagram has secret plans to make Stories move vertically like TikTok, not horizontally? The mystery remains unsolved. (Actually, Instagram did state the reasons we will come to in a second.)

Regardless, the end result is that users can now include links in their stories by adding a link label.

What is an Instagram link sticker?

The Instagram link sticker replaces the uplink feature, allowing users to add an external link to Instagram Story.

Story link labels are the easiest way to promote more content and products on Instagram, and analytics allow you to optimize your story strategy.

Instagram says that when it comes to links, the sticker has three major advantages over the drag-and-drop feature:

  • Stickers are familiar and popular to users who use them for music, questions, locations and surveys, etc.
  • Stickers allow for more creative control over the look of the Story than dragging upwards.
  • And most importantly, the stickers allow viewers to get involved in the story, while the drag-up function did not allow for answers or reactions.

Simply put: just like swiping your finger up, Instagram link stickers are an important tool for any Instagram business strategy.

How to use a link sticker on Instagram

Instagram stories stay awake for only 24 hours, but adding a link to Instagram Story is useful for increasing conversions, increasing organic engagement, and making it easier for followers to access the content you want to share.

Source: Instagram

Here’s how to add a sticker with a link to your Instagram story. (Spoiler: Same as any sticker.)

  1. In the Instagram app, click the plus sign in the bottom center
  2. Scroll to a selection The story (instead of Post or Live).
  3. Create your story using all the wonderful media you have at your disposal.
  4. Touch the label icon in the top row.
  5. Add your link.
  6. Then send in your story and you’re done!

Once you publish your first link label, be sure to track your metrics to optimize your clickthrough rate.

If you’re not getting as many touches as you want, make sure you have a clear call to action and don’t overload one Instagram post with too much information. Are you still surprised? Read our five other reasons your stories may have failed to turn.

Who can use the link sticker on Instagram?

Since launching the Instagram connection sticker, access has been restricted to those accounts that also had access to the drag-and-drop feature. In other words, your account must be a business account with 10,000 followers or be verified on Instagram to use the link sticker.

Instagram says it is assessing whether to make link stickers available to everyone, but is concerned about security and integrity, as well as the spread of spam and misinformation on the platform. Rest assured that we will keep our ears open for more news on this issue.

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

Don’t worry if you haven’t been checked or don’t have 10,000 followers. You can still add a link to your photo or video story with this workaround for IGTV:

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

  • Make or upload a 60-second video in the Instagram app.
  • Write a title that says something like “Get a link!”.
  • Paste the link you want people to click into the title.
  • Upload the video to IGTV.
  • Now on your summary, tap the paper plane icon below your new IGTV video.
  • Touch add a video to your story.
  • Tap the link icon at the top of the screen.
  • Select + IGTV video.
  • Select an IGTV video with the connection you just created.
  • Touch Done.

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

Other ways to use links on Instagram without a link sticker

Sharing links with your audience is helpful whether your goals are relationship building or conversions. If increasing the number of your followers on Instagram to 10,000 isn’t on the cards yet, here are a few alternatives:

Link in biography

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

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

Remember to say “link in bio” in your title when posting (we did the experiment, and don’t worry, it won’t hurt your engagement if you say so.)

Use your DMs

Publish your story and let your followers know that they can send you a DM for a direct link. To them, it’s extremely simple and it’s a great way to build a relationship with your audience because it could make them feel even more personal when they get the connection directly from you.

Bonus tip: Use DM Me sticker: your followers can contact you with one touch!

Take a survey

Share your content, then create a survey asking people if they want to send them a link. All you need to do is check who said “yes” to your survey and you can contact us via the link sent via direct message in the Instagram app.

Are you ready to start driving traffic to your website from Instagram? Use Hootsuite to schedule stories, posts and carousels, engage your audience and analyze performance – along with all other social networks.

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Easily create, analyze and schedule posts on Instagram with Hootsuite. Save time and achieve results.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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