Instagram today is rolling out a new feature for adding links to user profiles that challenges Linktree, Beacons and numerous other link in bio solution providers. The company announced on Tuesday it will now allow users to add up to five links to their Instagram profile bios, which can direct their followers to other content like their online businesses, brands they want to promote, causes they care about, or even their profiles on competing social platforms, among other things.

The company says the feature has been a top request among creators, but in reality, its also an example of how Instagrams failure to adapt to the needs of that community has allowed alternative solutions to thrive.

Linktree and others came into existence largely because of platform limitations, like those on Instagram and other social networks, which had for a long time prevented users from adding multiple links to other sites in fear they would be helping to direct users to content outside their own apps. The platforms would rather keep users trapped inside Instagram or their own network, rather than potentially lose users time and engagement.

Instagram wasnt alone in making this choice. TikTok today even limits clickable links in its bios to only those with business accounts, making it harder for regular users and creators to direct fans and followers to other websites.

Instagrams decision to now, after all these years, finally address creator demand for increased access to links-in-bio may actually be due to the complaints over TikToks stricter limitations.

The company likely sees how expanded access to links could be seen as a competitive advantage, potentially luring creators back to its app. In fact, Instagram calls out that its ability to add multiple links to a profile will be available to all accounts, including business and creator accounts.

To use the feature, users will tap Edit profile, then Links, then Add external link. They can then drag and drop the links in the order they want them to appear.

TechCrunch