Instagram acquires Linktree and others with support for up to 5 ‘links in bio’

Instagram today is rolling out a new feature to add links to user profiles that challenges Linktree, Beacons, and many other “link in bio” solution providers. The company announced Tuesday that it will now allow users to add up to five links to their Instagram profile bios, which can direct their followers to other content, such as their online businesses, brands they want to promote, causes they care about, etc. are interested in or even their profiles on competing social platforms, among other things.

The company says the feature has been one of the top requests among creators, but in reality, it’s also an example of how Instagram’s failure to accommodate the needs of that community allowed workarounds to thrive.

Linktree and others arose in large part due to platform limitations, such as those of Instagram and other social networks, which have long prevented users from adding multiple links to other sites for fear they were helping direct users to content outside of yours. Applications Platforms would rather keep users locked inside Instagram or their own network, rather than potentially wasting users’ time and engagement.

Instagram was not the only one who made this decision. Today, TikTok even limits the clickable links in their bio to only those with business accounts, making it difficult for regular users and creators to direct fans and followers to other websites.

Image Credits: Goal

Instagram’s decision now, after all these years, to finally address creators’ demand for greater access to links in bio may actually stem from complaints about TikTok’s stricter limitations.

The company is likely to see how expanded access to links could be seen as a competitive advantage, which could draw creators back to its app. In fact, Instagram says that its ability to add multiple links to a profile will be available to “all accounts,” including business and creator accounts.

To use the feature, users will tap “Edit Profile,” then “Links,” then “Add Everlasting Link.” They can then drag and drop the links in the order they want them to appear.

Testing the feature briefly, we had no problem linking to competing platforms, like TikTok or YouTube, for example. Furthermore, below the option to add multiple links to other websites, Instagram also allows users to add a link to their Facebook profile with a dedicated link option. This link has a more professional appearance, with a rounded Facebook icon and text that says “Facebook Profile.” External links do not include special customizations, such as small icons.

However, the links do not open the website in question in a separate browser window; the link opens inside the Instagram app. If you want to switch to your built-in browser, like Safari or Chrome, you’ll need to tap the three-dot menu at the top of the page and choose “open in system browser.”

The new feature was announced in a short post on Mark Zuckerberg’s streaming channel. (Channels are a relatively new feature that allow creators to send one-to-many messages to their entire community.)

His post didn’t share much, except to say that support for multiple links in the bio was “probably one of the most requested features we’ve ever had.”

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