Instagram to ditch its ‘swipe up’ feature in favour of link stickers

24 Aug 2021

Image: © prima91/Stock.adobe.com

The swipe-up feature is expected to be replaced by customisable link stickers by the end of this month.

Instagram is getting rid of its ‘swipe up’ on 30 August and instead rolling out a link sticker for users.

The change was noticed by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has become known for spotting app features before they are rolled out by using reverse engineering. She tweeted about the new Instagram feature yesterday (23 August) and YouTuber Sam Sheffer responded with a screenshot of the notification he received about swipe-up links becoming stickers.

Instagram’s swipe-up feature currently gives verified users or users with a substantial following the ability to add a link to their Stories that can redirect viewers to a website with more info on the content of the post.

The social media giant has been testing the link feature for all users since June, according to The Verge. Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, told The Verge that the test was to see how people took advantage of the link feature, specifically looking out for misinformation or spam.

“That is the sort of future system we would like to get to,” he said. “And that’s what we hope to roll out, if we’re able to make this work.”

Instagram has now confirmed to The Verge that the swipe-up feature will be retired from 30 August. But it added that, for now, only users who had swipe-up privileges will receive the sticker option and it will evaluate the possibility of further roll-out.

TechCrunch reports that link stickers will give users greater control than the swipe-up feature. Users will be able to react to Stories that contain links, which is not possible now, and creators will be able to alter the position and style of the sticker for greater engagement.

The link sticker is not the first of its kind in the app’s array of features that redirect followers. Stickers for donations and music already allow for redirects to other websites from Instagram Stories.

Earlier this month, Instagram rolled out a new feature called Limits, which allows users to filter comments and DMs “during spikes of increased attention”.

Vish Gain is a journalist and copywriter with Silicon Republic

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