Instagram’s switch from swipe-ups to link stickers wasn’t necessarily welcomed with open arms, but that doesn’t mean creators wanted to do away with links altogether. However, on Tuesday a number of creators took to Instagram Stories with screenshots of a notification from the app warning them that they would be losing access to the link sticker feature on October 25 due to having previously shared content that violated community guidelines.
For many influencers, whose experiences were shared by BuzzFeed’s Stephanie McNeal, they had no memory of ever violating Instagram’s guidelines. The impending removal of their access to links wasn’t just annoying, but an active threat to their livelihood. Affiliate links and other brand collaborations are the backbones of most influencer income. Without a tool to direct their audience to products, it’s less likely they’ll be considered for future brand deals.
However, in a statement to McNeal, Instagram said that while they did intend to revoke link sticker access from certain accounts, it’s possible some creators received the warning by mistake.
“As part of our efforts to limit the spread of harmful content that violates our Community Guidelines, we’ll restrict people who have repeatedly or severely violated these policies from using the link sticker,” the statement reads. “However, we’re investigating an issue where people may have mistakenly been notified that they will be restricted, and we’re working on resolving this as soon as possible.”
Some of the offenses, according to affected influencers, include posting screenshots of hate comments they’ve received, or photos of their young children in diapers. Here’s how to check your own account status.
As of writing, it doesn’t appear that affected influencers who have been vocal about the restriction have heard any updates about their accounts. Creator Elena Davies said in her Stories that she’s currently trying to organize all the things she needs to link before she loses access.
But a comment from user Moira Krier says the complicated truth: “Another case to file behind ‘stop building your entire brand and company on one singular platform.’” Someone should really get on building that safety net.
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