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How to Add Links to Instagram Stories (Even Without 10K Followers!)

For years, Instagram Stories links have been reserved for accounts with over 10K followers.

However, Instagram recently revealed a game-changer for smaller brands and creators on the app: they’re testing letting anyone, regardless of follower count, share a link in stories!

We’re covering everything we know below, along with some little-known hacks you can use to add links to stories.

How to Add Links to Instagram Stories (Without 10K Followers)

Users with less than 10K followers have been asking for the ability to link from stories for some time, and (good news!) it looks like Instagram is finally taking note.

In an interview with The Verge, Instagram’s VP of Product, Vishal Shah, confirmed they are testing making Instagram story links available to all account sizes.

Shah shared that the company is using the test mostly to learn how people might “take advantage of links,” while keeping a close eye on misinformation and spam.

As part of the test, select accounts with “a voice and reach on the platform” will be given access to the new Instagram story link sticker:

However, it is still unknown how widely this test will be made available, or when it will be rolled out fully. 

Until then, here are two ways you can drive traffic from stories — even if you have less than 10K followers:

Instagram Story Link Hack #1: Add a Swipe Up Link to an IGTV Video

Did you know that you can add swipe up links to any IGTV video you create, even if you don’t have 10K followers?

This might not be as flexible as adding a direct link to your Instagram Story — but IGTV videos can have multiple clickable links in the video description.

This means you can use IGTV videos as a mini landing page to link to from your Instagram Stories. 

How Link to an IGTV Video from an Instagram Story:

  1. Record a video (between 15 seconds and 10 minutes in length) and upload to IGTV, adding links to the video description.
  2. Create an Instagram story. Add a clear call-to-action to your stories that encourages viewers to swipe up and click the small arrow next to your IGTV video title to discover your links.
  3. Select the link icon at the top of the screen and tap “IGTV video.” Your IGTV video will now be directly accessible via a swipe up link from your Instagram story.

TIP: Encourage viewers to swipe up to watch your IGTV with a verbal call-to-action, on-screen text, or an animated GIF. 

Instagram Story Link Hack #2: Add a Swipe Up Link to Your Instagram Shop 

Another way to drive traffic from your Instagram Stories (without 10K followers) is by adding a swipe up link to your Instagram Shop

To do this, you must have Instagram Shopping enabled on your account. 

Instagram Shopping

Once you’re set up, you can link to your shop from any Instagram story — regardless of how many followers you have.

How to Link to Your Instagram Shop from an Instagram Story:

  1. Set up Instagram Shopping for your account. You can do this by following Instagram’s setup guide here.  
  2. Create an Instagram story.
  3. Select the link icon at the top of the screen and tap “Shop.” Your Instagram Shop will now be directly accessible via a swipe up link from your Instagram story.

Want to know how to make more sales on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Selling now!

How to make money with Instagram

How to Add Links to Instagram Stories (With 10K+ Followers)

If you have over 10K followers and a Business or Creator account on Instagram, you can add links to any destination straight from your Instagram Stories.

This will either be in the form of a “swipe up” link, or Instagram’s new clickable link sticker.

The new link sticker is much more visible, and can be added anywhere on a story. It also shows viewers the first part of the destination link, giving more transparency. 

How to Add Links to an Instagram Story with 10K+ Followers:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Swipe left to create a story
  3. Tap the chain icon at the top of the screen, or search in your Instagram Stories sticker tray for the link sticker
  4. Click URL, add a link, and select Done 
  5. Share your story

NOTE: Only one “swipe up” link or sticker can be added per story.

How to Drive More Traffic from Instagram Stories

If you really want to drive traffic from stories, it’s important to add a clear call-to-action.

This could be a verbal call out, some on-screen text, an animated GIF, or all of the above.

“Swipe up” links aren’t always the easiest to spot, so prompting your followers to follow your links can really boost your clicks (and sales!).

And that’s it! It’s the simplest but most effective way to drive traffic on Instagram.

ICYMI: You can visually plan and schedule your Instagram Stories in advance with Later. You’ll get all your assets, links, and copy delivered straight to your mobile when it’s time to publish, so you can share a story in two taps!


Written By

Jillian Warren

Jillian is Later's Editor. A go-to expert in social media strategy and content marketing, she has worked in both London and New York. Next up? Lisbon and Paris! You can reach out to her on Instagram here: @jillwrren.

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