Instagram is reportedly testing a new way to share links in stories through stickers. While users with a verified account or with more than 10,000 followers could already share links with a swipe-up gesture, Instagram is testing a new sticker with shareable links that would be available to a wider audience. The social media platform also mentioned that sharing links in stickers works better than the swipe up gesture given how its users navigate the platform. There is no information when Instagram will conduct a roll out for all its users.
Talking to The Verge, Instagram’s product head Vishal Shah said that “it’s mostly to learn how people might take advantage of links”. They’ll be watching for the types of links people post while keeping a particular eye on misinformation and spam. Shah also mentioned that Stickers are the eventual goal for Instagram, whether they are for everyone or for people who already have the link-sharing privilege.
However, Shah also mentioned that link-sharing capabilities will only be limited to Instagram Stories, and may not arrive for posts in the feed or any other part of the app.
Having links in Stickers would enable users to also reply to an Instagram Story, which was not possible with the swipe-up gesture. Instagram is currently testing the feature with a small audience who may have gained a decent amount of followers but not enough to get the swipe-up gesture.
Mentioning the tests, Shah said that it “brings links into the same kind of overall system, which from a simplicity of system perspective, also makes a lot of sense.” Since it is only a small test at the moment, it may lead to people browsing the Internet from the Instagram app more frequently.
Recently, Instagram was reportedly testing mixing suggested posts with the regular posts from accounts users follow. The social media app is also testing the ability to let users choose and add specific topics to their suggested posts list. Alternatively, Instagram may also let users hide suggested posts from their feed for up to 30 days.