Instagram is making some drastic changes to its Stories feature that could see you swiping up pointlessly. The latest tweak is one in a long line of changes rolled out this year, with a new focus on Tik Tok-like Reels and the introduction of shopping tools to its app.
But the changes aren’t stopping there. The Facebook-owned company also wants to overhaul how you share content on the popular Stories feature, which shows an ephemeral slideshow of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
The newest update will be a huge boost to users with a smaller profile if it’s rolled out more widely. To share links on Instagram Stories, you must currently have at least 10,000 followers or be a verified account. If you do, you’ll get a coveted “Swipe Up” feature letting you link to your website or promote a product.
But now Instagram is bringing power back to the people (or at least, non-influencers) by testing a new “link” Sticker which could let anyone add links to their Stories. It will work in the same way as the Swipe Up link, but can be placed anywhere on the image. Anyone will be able to reply to the Story containing the link – which isn’t currently possible.
Whether the feature will get a wider audience depends on how it gets used. Too much spam or fake news will lead to it getting switched off, Instagram told The Verge.
The second update might already have landed on your app.
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At the moment, it’s common for users to share other people’s Feed posts (the square images which display on your profile) on their own Story. It’s a quick way to share funny memes or informative posts with a wider audience.
However, according to Instagram, this is a bit annoying for other users. So it’s making the process a little more complicated. Instead of pressing the “Share” button under the post, you’ll now have to open up a new Story, then select “Stickers”. Buried among the options to add a location, hashtag or poll, you’ll see a new “Reshare” option.
Clicking this will bring up a list of posts you’ve recently viewed. There’s also options to see your saved posts as well as all of your own Feed posts. Select any of these to add the image and link to your Story.
Instagram exec Vishal Shah said the company hopes it will encourage users to get more creative: “Our hope is that people will be more intentional when they share, which will create a better Stories experience for everyone.”
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