Instagram Removing Swipe-Ups? What This Means For Instagram Influencers and Brands


Have you noticed anything different lately on Instagram stories? Well if you are one of the people that is a part of a recent beta-test on Instagram, you may have noticed a new feature in your Instagram Story features called link stickers.

First, what are link stickers and why should I care? Instagram is testing a new clickable feature that would be the new way that Instagram Influencers would link back to websites and e-commerce pages. Rather than using the “swipe up” feature, Instagram Influencers will embed a link with the new link stickers feature on their Instagram stories.

According to a rep at Facebook they said: “We’re constantly working to improve the user experience using Instagram Stories, and this new sticker trial also allows our users to be more creative when adding links to their Stories.”

While the feature may look very subtle, we anticipate that it will have a big impact on Instagram Influencers ability to drive traffic to brands websites, and brands may see a reduced rate in clicks to site when working with an Instagram Influencer.

The new feature looks like this

(credit @simonecharles_)

Compared to the old version of “Swipe Ups”

(credit @thenewyorkstylist)

What does this new feature mean for Instagram Influencers? Well as we know, brands are constantly trying to understand how partnering with Influencers will drive some sort of action for them (whether it be brand awareness or sales) as we outline here. One of our biggest concerns is that Influencers have spent years training their audience (which ultimately is their customer) to “swipe up on Instagram Stories”, and now will need to retrain their audience as to how they can shop.

While this may seem like a small deal, it actually has a big impact on the Influencer Marketing industry in 2021, and beyond, as training your audience how to shop again, means less orders, less conversions, and brands will see less of a return on their investment.

What does this mean for brand marketers? Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you speak directly to Influencers when it comes to building out your strategy. If you plan on building a campaign that’s rooted in sales, and they haven’t been seeing the sales that they want to on Instagram Stories because of this adjustment, ask an Instagram Influencer Service that works with Influencers, or the Influencer, what has been driving sales (things like Pinterest and blogs). We fully anticipate that if the removal of “Swipe Ups” goes into full effect, Influencers will lose a great deal of traffic as they need to re-train their audience to shop.

The way we will all combat any sort of downward engagement as a result of this change, is by brands and Instagram Influencers having an open conversation about how this change may impact their conversion rate, and how we can make sure we see sales in other ways!

We fully anticipate that Instagram will be making a LOT of changes in the next year that could impact our industry for the better (or for the worse). Don’t miss out on any of these new changes, by signing up for our newsletter!

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