Instagram is officially ditching swipe-up links for the new URL sticker in stories

The new Instagram link sticker is replacing the familiar swipe-up gesture for accessing external webpages in stories beginning August 30, the Facebook-owned company has confirmed.


  • Instagram is rolling out a new linking sticker
  • It’ll replace the swipe-up gesture in stories
  • You can change the look of the link sticker

A promotional image from Instagram showing using a linking sticker for sharing links in stories on iPhone
Image Credit: Instagram

Instagram’s link sticker is here, the swipe-up is getting retired

The swipe-up is a familiar gesture to anyone who has used Instagram.

If a creator has added an external webpage to their story, followers simply swipe up on a story to access the embedded URL. But now, Instagram appears ready to abandon the swipe-up in favor of a new linking sticker which has been in testing for weeks now.

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“Starting August 30, swipe-up links will go away,”reads a notification that some beta users are seeing in their Instagram app. “To add a link to your story, use the new link sticker.” Instagram has confirmed to The Verge that it’s axing the swipe-up in favor of tappable stickers in stories.

This feature is being introduced in stages and Instagram reserves the right to pull the new linking sticker should it receive negative feedback from early-access users.

Instagram swipe-up vs. URL sticker

Both the swipe-up and the linking sticker take people to external websites.

But why bother replacing one with another if they serve exactly the same purpose, you might ask yourself. Well, Instagram says that it’s making this change in order to streamline the stories-creation experience and bring more creative control to users. For example, a URL sticker can be rotated, resized and positioned anywhere you like in your story.

An argument could also be made that it’s far more intuitive (at least for novice users) to simply touch this sticker to visit the underlying webpage than having to swipe up. In terms of usability, the swipe-up gesture is more associated with scrolling and the like than visiting webpages.

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Also, followers cannot respond to your swipe-up stories, but can respond to stories that include a link sticker. But perhaps most important of all, the swipe-up is limited to verified Instagram users with at least 10,000 followers whereas the linking sticker appears to be available to everyone without any restrictions, verified or not.