Instagram is the perfect platform in an age of users hungry for marketing that is easy on the eyes. Brands and users alike have helped the platform become the fastest growing social network, beating out some of social media’s biggest contenders by active usage rate.
Brands flocked to Instagram’s growing fan base by adopting the network into their social strategy, but there’s still one basic limitation of the social network that it’s social rivals are easily equipped to offer their marketers. When a user shares a link on Instagram, it is not clickable. Brands have no way of linking back to their content or websites with the photos they share. That was until Mashable discovered a workaround with Bitly.
Mashable created a custom Bitly link for their Instagram profile: http://on.mash.to/InstaLink. Each time Mashable has new content to promote, they simply change the underlying URL to direct users to the right source (a Bitly enterprise feature.)
Clickable links seem like such an easy fix for the social platform to implement, but there is a reason Instagram may be choosing to leave them out. Instagram wants to keep the platform spam free. Adding a clickable links feature could open the door for users to post spammy links and shift Instagram’s focus more toward an advertising/self-promotion platform than a platform solely for user enjoyment. Instagram makes it pretty clear that they want the platform to stay true to their users and avoid becoming a place for ads no one wants to see.
Instagram is a place where people come to connect and be inspired, and our focus with every product we build is keeping it this way.
Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.
Even though clickable links would be beneficial for marketers, that doesn’t seem to be the platforms main focus. Will their priorities shift as the platform begins to cater to business by inviting more brands to use Instagram Ads? We will have to wait and see.
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