Like a stone-faced royal gazing upon a crowd of aesthetically posed and well-lit subjects, Instagram has decreed that henceforth, we all shall have the ability to add links to our Stories. Previously, you had to be verified or have acquired 10,000 followers. No more.
How to add a link to an Instagram Story
What was once an incredibly chaotic process for us standard plebs is now as easy as adding any other sticker to a Story post.
To use this new feature, prepare a Story post. For anyone who needs a refresher, that means swiping right in the Instagram app to access the posting interface. Make sure Story is displayed in bright white text at the bottom of the screen, then choose a photo or video from your phone’s library (the image thumbnail in the bottom left) or create something new (tap the white button for a photo; hold it to record a video).
From there, tap the stickers button at the top of the screen (it looks like a smiling square with a peeled-up corner) or swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Tap the Link sticker to open the Add Link interface. If you don’t see it, you may not have been granted this power—yet. Instagram is in the process of rolling this feature out to users worldwide, so try updating your app and/or checking back in a few days.
If you’ve received the luscious gift of linkage, type or paste in a URL (there’s a handy .com option on the iOS keyboard if you need it), and tap Done to create the sticker. You can also touch See Preview to check what people will see when they open your link.
When the sticker appears, it’ll display the website’s name. Sharing this article, for example, would result in a bubble that simply says “popsci.com.” You can move it around the screen by dragging it with a finger, resize it by pinching in or out, and change the style with a tap like you can with many other stickers. For now, at least, you can only add one link per Story post.
When you’re ready, share your creation to Your Story or Close Friends if you’ve set up that privacy feature.
What to know about this new feature
While Instagram has greatly expanded its users’ ability to add links to Stories, not everyone will have access to this feature. New accounts won’t be able to share links until they’ve existed for a certain time—it’s unclear how long—and Instagram says anyone who violates Instagram’s community guidelines may be banished to the land of no links.
Aesthetically, resizing is limited—the link sticker won’t get any bigger than about ⅔ the width of your screen or shrink smaller than about ⅓. There are only four styles at the moment as well, but Instagram says it’s working on ways to further customize the sticker so it’s clear what people can expect to see on the other side.
Anyone who opens the link will end up in Instagram’s built-in browser, but can navigate to the browser of their choice via the three dots in the top right corner of the window.