On Thursday, Instagram updated its app to add some neat new features to its Stories feature. Besides a built-in Boomerang mode and support for tagging other Instagram users in Stories, this update brings an important function to the app –– the ability to add URL links to their stories that viewers can open without leaving Instagram.
To keep the Stories free of long ugly URLs, Instagram is adding a “See More” button to the bottom of any story that includes a link. Users who tap on the button will be directed to the destination page via an in-app web browser. At launch, this link feature will only be available to verified Instagram accounts.
What Brands Should Do
This update shows Instagram’s determination in improving Stories to better compete with Snapchat, and the addition of links in particular should come as a useful tool for content creators and brands. Instagram has long resisted clickable links, limiting them to one per account profile, and only recently started supporting direct links in its ad products. Now brands on Instagram can use Stories as a call-to-action tool to drive traffic and encourage sign-up. Retailers in particular should take advantage of this new feature to expand their social commerce efforts to Instagram.