It finally happened. Anyone can drive traffic from Instagram stories. Up until recently, only accounts with over 10,000 followers — a high bar for smaller titles to reach — could access the “upwards swipe to open a link” gesture in Instagram. The same held true for the link sticker that replaced it. And then, a couple of weeks ago, people started losing access to the link sticker.
Now we know why: Instagram was implementing a major transition — it's available to everyone. sFinally, smaller publishers have an option beyond “link in bio” to try and get some traffic out of the roach motel that is the 'gram.
And, based on my testing, it works…
Using the Instagram link sticker
So, head into Instagram and choose the stories option. Click on the stickers icon, and you get this:
Hit the link sticker, and you get an URL field:
Obviously, your best bet is copying and pasting from the url of the page you want to link. I found this process a little temperamental — hopefully that will be ironed out. And so you get:
Click “Done” and you get the link sticker. The text doesn't seem to be customisable right now — it always shows the root domain of the URL you're linking to. And it looks like this:
Obviously, you can combine it with other stickers to “sell” the click a little more:
And there we have it! A real genuine chance for those of us outside the 10,000 follow club to generate traffic from the ’gram — and, most importantly, a chance to take some of that community we've developed on the ’gram and bring it into owned and operated spaces.
Cross-posting to Facebook
Cross-posting Stories to Facebook does work, with the link preserved in the Facebook version of the Story — in my experience at least. I've seen at least one report of it not working — so it might be worth double-checking. Sometimes when Meta (uggh) rolls out a feature like this, it takes time for all Facebook and Instagram accounts to be updated to support it.
Certainly, my expectation is that this will work cross-app, as that seems consistent with the company's approach of building a common backend to its platforms.
So, there we are. One of the biggest complaints about Instagram finally addressed. Would it be nice to have links in the grid? Of course! But this opens up the possibility of driving traffic from the 'gram to your site for everyone — and that changes the audience engagement dynamic considerably.
If you or your team do something particularly successful with the new link stickers, I'd love to hear about it.