Instagram’s adding some new link options within your profile bio, which will provide new ways to connect your audience to relevant hashtags, or to refer to other users, increasing exposure potential within the app.
As you can see from the above image, you’ll now be able to add clickable hashtags and/or links to other Insta users within your bio details.
As explained by Instagram:
“With hashtag and profile links in your bio, you can express yourself and your interests right in your profile. Whether you’re a #guitarlover, into #pencilsketching or have a #makeuptutorial account, now you can link to any hashtag or profile you want.”
Adding a hashtag or profile link is simple – first, tap on ‘Edit Profile’ and go to the bio section. When you type in a # or @ symbol, you’ll now see a list of recommended hashtags and accounts to include (as you can see in the first screenshot above). From there, you select the tags and profiles you want to add, and they’ll automatically be linked in your bio.
There’s a heap of opportunity in these new tools for brands looking to boost their exposure.
First off, by adding hashtags, you’ll no doubt be helping to ensure that your profile shows up in relevant, hashtag-related searches, giving you another way to generate exposure for your account.
Of course, that’s largely been the case for some time anyway, as you can filter your hashtag search results by ‘People’, but the capacity to add clickable hashtags into your bio will connect you to the wider conversation. The main benefit here is for Instagram to encourage further engagement with those tags, but linking your profile into them, more directly, could better align you with those same trends.
But where it could really come in handy is if you’re using your own, branded tags. Now, you can add in your #brand tag which will enable users to quickly and immediately click through for full access to all uses of that tag, effectively linking to an Instagram showcase of content related to your business – through both your own content and via UGC.
For example, Hilton Hotels now links through to the #sharemyhiltonpic tag, which brings up a heap of images from their various properties and surrounding locations.
In regards to linking to other Insta accounts, that too could be a great option to boost brand awareness, particularly through popular influencers and your employee advocates.
For influencer campaigns, you’ll now be able to ask the influencers you’re working with to add a direct link to either your brand profile and/or branded hashtags within their bio, boosting exposure potential, while your employees will also be able to link to the same, increasing reach.
If you have a strong employee advocacy program, that could help boost your presence on the app by including links back to your profile/s on a range of employee accounts. People may not necessarily know that a person works for your business, but now they can have a direct link to relevant content, which could showcase what your business does, and your brand culture.
Instagram also notes that when you mention someone else’s profile in your bio, that user will receive a notification, and will have the option to remove the link to their profile if they wish (their profile will remain in your bio but without a link).
The main focus of the new linking tools is to give Instagram another way to boost in-app discovery and interaction – which they may also be seeking to do through another incoming addition.
TechCrunch has reported a user discovery of a QR code-style scanning option in the back-end code of the app.
The tool would likely function much like Snapchat’s ‘Snapcodes’, enabling users to scan the tag to immediately be linked through to the relevant profile. Facebook’s actually using similar in their new AR promotion tools (which link to branded AR experiences), while The Social Network has also been trying to work QR codes into various elements of their apps for some time.
Scannable codes would be another great addition for brands, enabling them to add the links to promotional materials. It’s not revolutionary, but it would be another way to boost discovery.
Instagram isn’t commenting on the possible addition at this stage.
Oh, also, Snapchat’s testing a new ‘expressions’ tool which enables you to change the look of still images.
That’s not an Instagram option, but for some reason it feels like it belongs in this post. Probably because Instagram will be looking to add the same very soon.
Instagram’s new bio link options are available now in the latest version of the app.