The swipe-up will be no more. Instagram is planning to retire the feature, which allows people to visit external webpages by swiping up, starting August 30th, according to a notification viewed by The Verge and confirmed by Instagram. Instead of the swipe-up link, Instagram says people will be able to use link stickers, which are exactly as they sound: tappable stickers in stories that take people to external websites.
The company says it’s retiring the swipe up — a feature that’s spawned its own category of GIFs and a phrase that’s now part of the lexicon — to “streamline the stories creation experience” and offer more “creative control,” given that uses can format the look of stickers and not the swipe up.
This update builds on a test the company began earlier this summer. In June, Instagram started testing these stickers for various users, not just people who already had swipe up privileges. (Users have to be verified or have at least 10,000 followers to gain access to swipe up.)
At the time of the test, Vishal Shah, Instagram’s former head of product, told The Verge the stickers fit more with the way people currently use the platform. He also said the goal was to more widely roll out the stickers. The key difference between the two features, apart from the obvious gesture difference, is viewers can respond to stories that have a link sticker, but cannot respond to swipe up stories.
Instagram says that for now, only people who had swipe up privileges will receive the sticker option, but that it’s “still evaluating” rolling it out to more users. This update will “help us determine whether it’s the right decision before expanding access to more people,” a spokesperson tells The Verge.
Update August 23rd, 2:50PM ET: Updated to include and reflect comment from Instagram.