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Does Instagram Allow Links?

Posted by Arch on December 31, 2018

With around a billion active users, Instagram is one of the biggest and most popular social networks around. It is also one of the most potent advertising platforms available to businesses as well as individuals.

Building a business on Instagram is no easy task and it requires a thorough knowledge of the platform. One of the first things beginners should learn about is Instagram’s infamous linking policy. If you’re looking to start your own Instagram business, read on to find out whether the platform allows links or not.

Does Instagram Allow Links?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, Instagram does allow links in the bio section. No, Instagram does not allow links anywhere else. That’s it as far as the free and clickable links are concerned.

On the flipside, if you are willing to dig into your pockets and pay for links, Instagram offers you ads. There are currently five types of ads on the menu – photos, carousels, videos, slideshows, and stories.

Link in Bio

If you have a regular profile, you will be limited to only one clickable link in your bio section. Therefore, you should be very careful when placing a link in your bio. Here are some ideas on how to use your free link:

  1. You could link to your blog. If you are running a blog and have an Instagram account, you could use your bio link to boost the traffic your blog receives. Alternatively, you could link to a specific post on it.
  2. If you have a product you’re selling, post the link to the product page in your bio to boost the sales.
  3. Linking to a giveaway or contest might be a good idea if you are running one outside Instagram.
  4. You could also link to a video. Whether you’re supporting a noble cause or promoting your own product, a short and powerful video presentation can go a long way.

 
On the other hand, business profiles have several additional links at their disposal. They are not customizable all that much. The additional links available to business profiles include the following:

  1. The “Call” link contains the company’s main phone number, be it land or mobile.
  2. The “Email” link contains the company’s official email address.
  3. The “Directions” link usually takes users to a page with directions on how to reach the company’s main office or store.

 
Due to their predetermined names and roles, it is pretty much senseless to use these links for anything else.

Regular Posts and Comments

Apart from the bio section of your profile, you won’t be able to post links you haven’t paid for anywhere else. This is due to Instagram’s hard and fast policy against linking which the app has maintained since its inception. The way things are looking, this rule’s not about to change any time soon, if ever.

Of course, you can paste a link in your post’s caption, but it will appear as plain text once posted. Also, if you try to paste a link in a comment, it too will be displayed as plain text.

Surprisingly, this policy has worked out well for Instagram. According to a Shopify case study, conducted and published in 2015, Instagram was the number one traffic source for their test business. For the purposes of the study, a T-shirt selling business was set up and monitored over the first several weeks. All of the traffic from Instagram came from the bio section link.

Linking with Instagram Ads

While sporting a rigorous “no free links” policy, Instagram does allow its users to include links in their paid posts (ads). As already mentioned, there are five types of ads that you can make and all of them can contain external links. Here is a quick overview of the available ad types:

  1. Photos are the easiest way to advertise on Instagram.
  2. Video ads are another great way to advertise. The time limit is set at 60 seconds (it used to be only 15 seconds in the beginning).
  3. Carousels might be the right choice if you’re advertising multiple products. You can have up to ten photos in a single carousel gallery.
  4. Stories can feature both photos and videos and will self-destruct after a designated period (much like Snapchat stories).
  5. Slideshows are essentially videos made of still images. They will be displayed to users as videos.

 

Conclusion

With almost a billion active users, Instagram is slowly becoming an indispensable tool for building a successful online business. It is thus essential to learn the ropes before you start building your business on the platform. Learning about Instagram’s linking policy is a great way to start.

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