As of today, there are a plethora of social media platforms on the internet. There are some for photo and video content, some for blogging or micro-blogging, and some for music.
People have different interests. Therefore, our preferences for social media platforms also differ. Some people like watching videos on TikTok, like streaming on SoundCloud, while others enjoy strolling through Facebook.
For social media platforms, that is an issue. Their goal is to have as many users as possible. So, they develop features similar to the others to lure people to come into the platform. Then, to make the features their own, the platform introduces tweaks. As long as people use the feature, they will continue making improvements to become better and better.
For instance, we have Instagram Stories. Instagram shamelessly admitted that it is a copy of Snapchat Stories. But, after many years, It Stories have separated itself from the original. Now, there is a new announcement about further improvements in the feature. Instagram tests letting any user share a link through Stories.
Snapchat was gaining popularity because of its Stories feature. Stories are mostly pictures and videos, the same type of content Instagram focuses on. To prevent users from flocking to the other platform, Instagram introduced its own Stories feature.
During its introduction, people have pointed out that it is a clone of Snapchat Stories. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom did not deny that. In contrast, he said that Snapchat deserves all the credits. However, he said that in the world of social media, it is not about inventing something. Instead, it is about a format and how a network takes it and puts its own spin on it.
Instagram has seen the charm in Stories and how it can help the network be better. So, it adapted the feature.
It is an unwritten rule that users need to make their profiles as perfect as possible. It needs to be curated. They should post only their finest selfies, picture-perfect locations they went to, mouth-watering food, and beautiful sunsets. There is no space for silly photos or random things that are not important enough. They will ruin the whole feel of their profiles.
Instagram Stories provide a space where users can upload those photos or videos. Since Stories are not permanent, they will not affect the vibe of the profile. Moreover, they only last 24 hours. So, users can post on-the-moment photos without thinking much. They can even post silly photos and not be embarrassed about it.
In short, Stories allow the “casual” to exist in a platform where “perfect” is the standard. It permits the users to express themselves better. For that, it is warmly received by Instagramers.
Instagram Stories have come so far. There are so many new things that make users attracted to the feature. For example, unlike before, they can now post any photo from their gallery no matter the time they took it. There is also the ability to make them interactive with quizzes and polls. Moreover, aside from adding texts, users can also add locations, stickers, and many more.
One major development is the addition of links. As mentioned above, buying real Instagram followers is still common and users loved their Stories. Because they have been using the feature so much, they found new ways to use them.
Since many users view Stories, it became a place where businesses can post advertisements. Sadly, they were only able to show the viewers the products. They can include a URL or a text to direct the viewers to the page where the users can purchase the product. However, those were not clickable.
Fortunately, Instagram was aware of this. Understanding the needs of its users, Instagram introduced swipe-up links. If a swipe-up link is added to a Story, the viewers can, well, swipe up to view the link. This way, driving traffic to another website or page is more streamlined. It makes things a lot easier.
The issue is, the swipe-up links feature is exclusive. It is currently only available to Instagram business accounts with over 10,000 followers or verified accounts. So, while it is useful, it does not help everyone who needs it.
Good news for small businesses and influencers, Instagram is testing a game-changer. After the success of swipe-up links, the platform is looking to make link sharing available to everyone.
Instagram further improves link sharing in this case. The link can be contained in a sticker the viewers can tap or click. By doing so, they will be funneled to the website they are directed to. It removes the need to swipe up and the need for the creator to notify the viewers that there is a swipe-up link. Viewers can also respond to stories with a link sticker on them. That is not possible in the older system. So, we can say that the link stickers make things even more convenient.
Furthermore, Vishal Shah, Instagram's head of product, says using stickers makes a lot more sense. The platform, focusing on photos and videos, is graphics-oriented. So stickers fit right in. He says that they bring links into the same kind of overall system.
The test seems to be targeted at individuals who found a voice on Instagram. Admittedly, not all of them can meet the qualification requirement for swipe-up links. But, they have an equal – if not more – the need for the feature. For instance, activists can leverage it to direct people to website resources. That will increase people's awareness of what they are fighting for. People hosting fundraiser events can also benefit from this feature.
For now, the test is small, says Vishal Shah. But, link stickers are the eventual goal for Instagram. Instagram may even remove swipe-up links in favor of this feature. Again, it is still in the testing phase. Instagram is observing how the users will be utilizing the feature. It will keep an eye on things like misinformation and spam. If Instagram can pull this off, it might be the start of people web browsing from within the app more frequently.
Date: July 20, 2021 / Categories: Interesting, / Author: Joy P