Instagram Swipe Ups Now Stickers: 4 Key Differences

Last updated on
December 13, 2021
Haley Thorpe

Bye bye, Swipe Ups.

Instagram announced plans to remove the Swipe Up feature in Instagram Stories by August 30, 2021, after initial testing in June. The Swipe Up feature is used to promote specific products, content, or signup pages straight from Stories, instead of Instagram's single link found in the bio. These are also used for sponsored content and affiliate links.

Instagram has now officially rolled out this change to all of its users, globally.

Here's how the latest feature announcement may affect how you sell on Instagram.

Example of a link sticker in use. Instagram

Four differences between Swipe Ups and Link Stickers

  1. Gesture. Obviously, the action is slightly different, a swipe versus a click. Since we’ve been made aware the platform designers understand our subconscious brains better than we do (thank you, Netflix's ‘The Social Dilemma’), this could make a difference in engagement.
  2. Exclusivity. The Instagram Swipe Up feature was only available for business accounts with 10K+ followers or verified accounts. According to an interview with Bustle, Intagram’s reasons for the exclusivity include potential spam, abuse risks, and the spread of misinformation. This is no longer true for the link sticker. Now, this could help both micro and nano influencers increase their affiliate marketing opportunities.
  3. Response. Viewers can respond to stories that have a link sticker, but cannot respond to swipe up stories. Will this be an opportunity for direct customer feedback, customer service questions, and more?
  4. Customization. The sticker offers more variety and customization than the more subtle UI of the Swipe Up. It will be interesting to see how branding will play a part in the look of link stickers, and whether this will hurt or help their engagement based on their design choices.

Example of a Swipe Up
Example of a Swipe Up

In the past, micro and nano influencers had to find loopholes to push affiliate links, such as IGTV as a loophole, or third-party sites like LinkTree to push multiple links through your profile.

The times are a-changing

It's not the only platform update we're keeping tabs on.

Instagram unveiled Shops as part of Facebook’s larger pivot toward e-commerce, with testing that started as early as 2017 and rolling out last year. Now, Shops is a major feature of Facebook and Instagram's platform, as readily accessible as uploading photos.

Instagram is leaning hard into its in-app shopping features. They're dedicated to removing all friction and offering a variety of ways to sell on Instagram: shoppable posts, stories, Instagram Shop, ads through its Shop feature globally, in-app payment, and new product drops.

The main message

This harkens back to when Instagram considered removing like counts and triggered similar reactions (watch James Nord give advice on this topic here). Influencers and brands should consistently keep up to date with platform changes so they understand how to sell on Instagram using new features to the fullest capacity.

The only constant in life is change. So how will this change serve the influencer marketing space for the better? It's up to us to find out.

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