Link maker

Instagram will ditch its ‘swipe up’ feature in favor of link stickers

The swipe feature is expected to be replaced with customizable link stickers by the end of this month.

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

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

Instagram’s swipe feature currently gives verified users or users with a substantial following the option to add a link to their stories that can redirect viewers to a website with more information about the content of the post.

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

“That’s the kind of future system we would like to arrive at,” he said. “And that’s what we hope to deploy, if we’re able to make it work.”

Instagram has now confirmed to The Verge that the swipe feature will be removed starting August 30. But he added that, for now, only users who had swipe privileges will receive the sticker option and he will assess the possibility of a later rollout.

TechCrunch reports that link stickers will give users more control than the swipe feature. Users will be able to react to stories containing links, which is currently not possible, and creators will be able to change the position and style of the sticker for greater engagement.

The link sticker is not the first of its kind in the app’s suite of features that redirect subscribers. Stickers for donations and music already allow 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 peaks of heightened attention”.