Instagram has introducied a new feature that competes with Linktree, Beacons, and other “link in bio” solution providers, allowing users to add up to five links to their profile bios.
How it works. This feature directs followers to various content, such as online businesses, promoted brands, supported causes, or even profiles on rival social platforms. Instagram revealed that this functionality has been highly sought after by creators. However, this also highlights the company’s inability to address the needs of its users, which has allowed alternative solutions to flourish.
Competition with 3rd party tools. The emergence of Linktree and similar services can be attributed to platform restrictions on Instagram and other networks that have long prevented users from adding multiple links to external sites, fearing the potential loss of user engagement. Social media platforms have traditionally preferred to keep users within their apps rather than direct them elsewhere.
Trailing behind TikTok, again. Instagram is not the only platform to make this choice; TikTok currently only allows clickable links in bios for business accounts, making it difficult for regular users and creators to direct followers to other websites. Instagram’s decision to finally address the demand for increased access to bio links may be a response to criticism of TikTok’s stricter limitations.
By allowing expanded access to links, Instagram could potentially draw creators back to its platform. The company emphasizes that the ability to add multiple links to a profile is available to all accounts, including business and creator accounts. To utilize this feature, users must go through the “Edit profile,” “Links,” and “Add external link” options, and then arrange the links in their desired order.
Early testing. In initial tests, there were no issues linking to competing platforms like TikTok or YouTube. Instagram also offers users the option to link their Facebook profiles using a dedicated linking option, which displays a professional-looking rounded Facebook icon and accompanying text. However, external links do not include any special customizations, such as small icons.
The links do not open in a separate browser window but within the Instagram app itself. Users who want to switch to their built-in browser, like Safari or Chrome, must tap the three-dot menu at the top of the page and select “open in system browser.”
This new feature was announced in a brief post on Mark Zuckerberg’s broadcast channel, a relatively new feature that allows creators to send messages to their entire community. Zuckerberg’s message simply noted that support for multiple links in the bio was “probably one of the most requested features we’ve had.”
Why we care. The new feature provides advertisers and brands an opportunity to increase traffic to their websites, e-commerce stores, and other online platforms. With the ability to add multiple links, businesses can more effectively promote their brand, products, and services to potential customers, and can potentially increase engagement and conversions.