Facebook-owned Instagram just released the first major update to Instagram Stories, allowing users to add mentions, links and a version of its Boomerang tool. All creators will be able to type “@” to tag other users, places or brands whether they appear in the story or not and a direct message will be sent to them. It will be easy to identify tappable stories because mentions will show up with an underline as long as they are moderately seized.

Mentions help users discover other accounts within the app, and they represent yet another advantage Instagram now has over Snapchat. As for links, they will not be available on InstaStories to everyone just yet. Until now, links could only be used in the bio and on ads within the social networking app.

Instagram just released the first major update to Instagram Stories. Photo credit: Windows Central
Instagram just released the first major update to Instagram Stories. Photo credit: Windows Central

Only verified accounts will be able to add links to their stories and the phrase “see more” will appear on the bottom of a story. The link will load in the app’s browser. Nathan Sharp, an Instagram product manager, told The Verge that the company decided to let users add links to stories because they realized numerous brands are using the feature to promote their content. He was careful not to suggest that the company would eventually let all users post links to their stories.

Professional creators will certainly take advantage of this update to direct followers to consume the online content they have to offer on other platforms such as YouTube, SoundCloud, or an attractive website. Retailers could direct users to buy their products on an e-commerce site, and media properties could add links to their stories to bring more traffic to their own websites.

Instagram chose to put the “see more” button to keep the images free of annoying visual links, and this means that users will not be able to see the website they are going to before they tap on the button. However, Instagram will block inappropriate link the way they already do with links in bios.


The fun Boomerang tool will be available on InstaStories even if users do not have the app installed on their smartphones. It will be possible to create a creative looping burst of no more than five photos so they can endlessly play and rewind. Users will be allowed to create Story Boomerangs that are shorter than the roughly 1.5-second clips the standalone app can offer. The Zoomerang feature will also be available on stories so users can zoom in on their subject while recording in the new media format.

Source: The Verge