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Instagram challenges Linktree with new feature

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By Published On: April 19, 20230 Comments

Instagram has introduced a new feature that allows users to share multiple links on their profile, challenging Melbourne startup Linktree.

Instagram has finally introduced a new feature that challenges Linktree, the Melbourne based startup that enables social media users to share associated URLS on their profile. Until now, Instagram has only allowed users to share one URL in their profile bio, restricting businesses and influencers from sharing their affiliate links such as stores, fundraisers, articles, and other social media accounts.

Linktree was born from this restriction. Founded in 2016, Linktree allows users to share a single custom link in their bio that redirects to a page that can host unlimited links and is fully customisable in appearance, with links opening outside of Instagram’s built-in browser. The platform also offers app integrations with services like PayPal and Shopify among others. Linktree is used by users all across social media, popular also with TikTok users, which restricts links to business account holders, and Twitter users who are limited by word count restrictions. Many of the app’s most followed users feature Linktree links in their profile, with Meta itself even being caught out by Linktree for using the platform up until this morning.

Today, Instagram parent company Meta announced via its creators page on Instagram that users can now add up to five links in their profile bio, with the post reading: “we hope this flexibility can help you more effectively express yourself so your audience can learn more about YOU – your passions, causes you care about, brands you love, businesses you run, or anything else you want to share!”

The feature doesn’t offer app integrations at this stage. Links will open in Meta’s in-app browser, and all links added to profiles will undergo a safety review to ensure they meet the Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.

Linktree was valued at $1.7 billion last year and boasts over 23 million users. In August last year, Linktree joined countless other tech companies as it laid off 17 percent of its global workforce, around 50 staff members from its 300-strong cohort.

The fate of Linktree on Instagram with this new feature is uncertain, as it is also challenged by potential TikTok bans and Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s incomprehensible and erratic policy and feature updates. However, the company has a loyal fanbase, offers app integrations, and a customisable edge over Instagram’s feature which may keep it afloat and thriving. Operated out of a Melbourne HQ, the company also recently launched Linktree Marketplace which allows users to add more than 30 Link Apps and integrations on their landing pages, and for visitors to watch, listen, shop, and donate in one place. It integrates 30+ partners and services, including PayPal, Square, Shopify, GoFundMe, Youtube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Reddit, TikTok, and Twitch, while users get more views, streams, purchases and donations.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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