Being an Instagram creator just got a little easier — or has it? This Tuesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram users will now be able to add up to five links (up from only one) to their account bios. “Probably one of the most requested features we’ve had,” he added.
Indeed, with the creator economy’s exponential growth in the last few years, the “link in bio” feature has become an increasingly crucial tool for creators to grow and monetize their audience, allowing users to promote their products and services to their followers on Instagram and beyond. Decidedly, having just one link was no longer enough. And a crop of third-party link in bio tools like Linktree has emerged to fill the void.
Now, Instagram is finally playing catch-up with the cottage industry it helped create. But is it enough? And what does this mean for the fate of tools like Linktree? While some creators are ready to cancel their link in bio subscriptions, many others don’t necessarily feel the urge to make the switch, citing the lack of features offered by Instagram’s multiple links in bio compared to Linktree and similar tools.
Our advice? Don’t ditch your link in bio tool. Read on to find out why you’re still going to need one.
Why you still need a link in bio tool for Instagram
Sure, using Instagram’s native link in bio tool might be easy and might (technically) get the job done. But once you take a closer look at its new-and-improved link in bio feature versus the alternatives, you’ll discover there are still so many reasons why you need to use a link in bio tool. Let’s unpack!
1. Five links just aren’t enough.
In the last few years, the creator economy has grown exponentially. Back in 2016, Linktree was founded because one link in bio was not enough. Seven years later, today, five links aren’t enough, either.
Most creators have a ton of links they want to share with their audience. Think their website, different social media channels, and online store. But also think beyond those to affiliate links, tip jars, newsletters, and more. Five links don’t even begin to cover everything.
Luckily, most link in bio tools — including Linktree and Campsite — allow you to include unlimited links on your landing page. That means you can add as many links as you’d like without ever worrying about hitting your link limit. How’s that for freedom — and peace of mind?
2. The Instagram bio lacks customization features.
When it comes to being a creator, personal brand plays a significant role. And on Instagram especially, branding has everything to do with aesthetics.
Unfortunately, Instagram’s new-and-improved link in bio design is, frankly, lackluster. (Five URLs written out in the platform’s default font? Really?) But that’s where third-party tools come in. Many link in bio tools allow creators to customize their landing pages to suit their personal branding.
On platforms like Linktree, this means the ability to choose everything from your background image to smaller design elements, like typeface, font color, and the look of your link buttons. Looking for even more customization? Apps like Milkshake provide an array of beautiful templates with fun design flourishes and stickers to bring your link in bio look to the next level.
These customization features also allow creators to guide their audience through their content strategy more firmly, highlighting and prioritizing the links they see fit. Instagram’s new feature still displays only one link, plus a clickable “see more” link that unrolls the four others. Since users will have to click twice to view the rest of your links anyways, it seems more intuitive to go with a single link in bio tool that allows you to lay out your content the way you want.
3. Most link in bio tools offer more integrations.
Beyond just links, many link in bio tools allow creators to integrate different platforms into their landing page, allowing their followers to watch, listen, shop, and more all in one place.
In 2022, Linktree launched its Marketplace hub, with integrations to popular platforms like YouTube, PayPal, SoundCloud, Cameo, and more. Similarly, Beacons’ Integrations Block lets creators enrich their link in bio pages with integrations to Laylo’s contact capture tool and Ko-fi’s donation panel, among others.
While these integrations provide viewers with a seamless experience, they’re also hugely beneficial to creators, helping them get even more streams, views, donations, and sales.
4. Most link in bio tools have built-in analytics.
One word: analytics. These metrics are crucial for creators looking to grow and monetize their following. Tracking link clicks is a great way for Instagram creators to figure out their audience’s habits, preferences, and engagement.
According to social media marketing consultant Lia Haberman, a PR rep for Instagram said that “some analytics” will be available for IG’s link in bio feature. However, it remains unclear how in-depth those analytics would be.
What we do know is that some link in bio tools — like Linktree and Later’s Linkin.bio — do offer robust analytics, giving these platforms (and their users!) a leg up over Instagram’s native link in bio.
5. You’d still need a link in bio tool for TikTok and other platforms.
So, in light of recent news, you’re tempted to ditch your link in bio tool to go with Instagram’s new native feature. But … what about your other social channels? Currently, TikTok still limits its users to one link in bio. So, if you’re a TikTok user (and chances are, you are!) you’ll want to hang on to your link in bio tool despite the recent IG announcement.
6. You should aim to drive your audience off-platform.
According to doctor and author Sandra Colton-Medici, who tested out Instagram’s new feature prior to the announcement, “finding ways to drive audiences off-platform is one of the top priorities for businesses utilizing social media.” Instagram’s new multi-link tool forces users to choose links in-app and then return to the app to check out others. This means that the design benefits Instagram more than its creators.
Using a platform-agnostic tool like Linktree allows followers to leave Instagram for longer to navigate through more of your content. And, who knows, even make a purchase or two!
7. You don’t want to rely too much on Instagram.
Like most social media platforms, Instagram is always changing, for better or for worse. The app’s native tools are perpetually in flux. And, in fact, Instagram has a track record of retiring certain projects, like cutting the Reels Bonus Program, disabling NFT features, and dropping the Shop tab from its home feed. It’s uncertain whether the “multiple links in bio” tool could become a better developed feature in the future. Or, in the worst case scenario, could even go the way of the Shop tab.
All this to say, it’s a smart idea to stick to a dedicated link in bio tool, where you know your content will be safe and not held at the mercy of Instagram’s whims.
So, should I stick with my link in bio tool?
Our answer is a resounding: yes! Despite Instagram’s recent announcement, third-party link in bio tools are still the best way to grow, engage, and monetize your audience. And who doesn’t want that?