Retailers lamenting the fact that Instagram doesn’t allow for linked content beyond the link allowable in their profile stack now have a work-around.
Instagram now allows business accounts with 10,000 followers and more to add links to pages in their Instagram Stories—links that can divert consumers directly to shopping and product pages.
The feature was once available only for verified users (accounts that have that coveted blue check mark next to the name). And it’s famously difficult to get verified by Instagram—they don’t field requests for verification. (I like to imagine the job of verifying belongs to a person in a cubicle papered in Justin Bieber and Beyoncé photos wading through fan feeds and celebrity accounts all day, trying to discern which ones are legit).
Charitably, the social network has opened the swipe-up link feature to businesses that have hearty followings. Ten thousand followers feels like a good bar—if you’re a store with less than 10,000 followers, it’s a good (but not daunting) motivator to up your fan following. And if your numbers top 10,000, congrats—you’ve earned this.
What’s a swipe-up link? It’s a link added to a video or photo you’ve added to your Instagram Stories. Users can swipe up on the image or video to be delivered to a web page—that includes the product page of an item you’re showcasing on Stories.
A small vertical arrow and appears at the bottom of linked Story pages, which you can customize with a phrase like “Shop Now” or “Learn More.” But the elements are subtle, so brands often add a typed “Swipe Up for More” messages on images and videos.
Actually linking a page is easy peasy: Simply add your photo or video, then hit the link tab on top. It’s the one with two linked ovals (resembling links in a chain).
Below are some good examples of how companies are successfully using swipe-up links in their Instagram Stories—in ads and free content.
Top: A recent swipe-up-linked story on @JCKmagazine‘s Stories