Small test confirms adding links to Instagram stories can cause a huge decrease in user engagement and reach

There are many social media platforms available but the one that stands out the most is Instagram. It is an app which provides users a platform where they can interact with their friends and family, post their pictures and videos, moreover, they are provided with features which are pretty cool and fun to have.

The app was launched back in 2012 and since then, they have been working hard to compete with other social media giants. They have undergone some changes, with the biggest one being its transfer to Facebook, which is now known as Meta. The company owns 3 of the most popular social media apps and is also planning to come up with its very own virtual world called “Metaverse”.

Users had been complaining a lot for a while now. They went on and on about how Instagram doesn’t have any feature available which would support links and URLs. They had to put these links up in their bios or would have to post it in their comments to get some attention.

The brains at the company sat together and came up with a new feature which would give users a bit of freedom. They introduced a new sticker which would allow them to paste links in it. Users can post these stickers on their stories with their desired URLs so that users can click on them instead of going to their bio and clicking the link.

As this new Instagram feature came out, rumors started to circulate around the platform. Users were saying that since the launch of the feature, the user engagement on stories has dropped a lot. People aren’t getting the response on their stories as they used to get before the update came out.

Many users started to experience a bit of a drop in the engagement rates of their stories where they posted content which contained a link as compared to another story which didn’t have any sort of link or sticker. After observing these trends for a few days, Stacey McLachlan was able to come to a conclusion that stories which had no links in it got more engagement as compared to the stories that had a URL attached in it. The test shows adding links in stories can astonishingly result around 40% less follows, 50% less reach, 60% less replies and 60% less shares.

The main reason behind this decrease in engagement is that users are redirected to a new site once they click on the link which is perfect if that was the intention in the first place, but if you don’t want users to leave the app then you shouldn’t be posting any link in your story. Of course, Instagram and Meta play their role in this scenario, as no social network would ever let their hard-earned users move away from the platform so easily, even if it’s about a friction of seconds, so they try their best to demote content that takes users off the platform.

Experiment shows posting stories without links can dramatically result around 40% more follows, 50% more reach, 60% more replies and 60% more shares.
Experiment shows posting stories without links can dramatically cause around 40% more follows, 50% more reach, 60% more replies and 60% more shares.

There are many ways by which users can increase their engagements, the most popular one is by posting a question in your story. This would allow users to send in questions and their views regarding whatever you’ve asking them in your story. This will definitely increase user engagement.

Another easy way to increase your user engagement is by going live on your instagram. Users are notified if one of their followers is going live on their accounts. This means that users can join in and chat with their friends, which increases the user engagement.

Last but not the least; we have the famous “User Poll”. Users can post anything on their story with a poll along it where they can ask their friends and followers about anything. They can have their opinions on different things.

In the end, we feel that if your main goal is to improve your user engagement, then the best thing to do is to have some creative and interactive feature in your story. But if you’re launching a new product on your website, then posting a story with a URL sticker in it might be the best option out there.

Read next: The Ideal Image Sizes for Social Media Ads, Profile and Cover in 2022 According to HootSuite
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