April 22, 2024


Unlimited Technology

New social media trend: Old-fashioned links

After years of hoarding engagement, new startups — along with some tech giants — are finally making it easier for users to add external links to their profiles and content.

Why it matters: Linking out to personal web pages or online storefronts has traditionally been difficult to do on some social media platforms, since most firms want to keep users engaged on their own platforms as much as possible.

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Driving the news: Clubhouse’s new Pinned Links” product has quickly become one of the live audio company’s fastest-growing features, a spokesperson tells Axios.

  • In less than a month, the company says that there have been 5.5 million clicks to Pinned Links from Clubhouse rooms, up from 1.6 million clicks in the first week.

  • Nearly 1-in-5 public “clubs,” or groups that host conversations in Clubhouse “rooms,” have used pinned links to date, the spokesperson adds. Users have used Pinned Links to do everything from sell books to drive tune-in campaigns.

Be smart: Because Facebook and Instagram are so highly focused on sales and marketing, they have long experimented with products that push users and creators to transact directly on its platform.

  • Because Clubhouse is for now focused on building a community, it has less to lose in sending people off its platform to conduct transactions.

  • The company says it’s proud of the click-through rates it’s seen amongst links shared in rooms thus far and wants to continue investing in the product.

  • Yes, but: Clubhouse, which skyrocketed during the pandemic but has since seen growth slow, has bigger problems than sending users off platform.

Between the lines: Link-sharing has been especially contentious between competitive platforms.

  • Twitter and Instagram last month finally ended a long-running policy that forced users to click onto Instagram links shared on Twitter in order to see pictures that were shared. Twitter initially banned showing photo previews on its app from Instagram in an attempt to push users to share more of their own photos to the app directly.

The big picture: The growth of the creator economy has created a whole new industry around link-in-bio and link-to-purchase features, per The Information.

  • Bitly launched a “Link Launchpad” earlier this month, a landing page that allows users to share multiple links from their social media profiles.

  • Linktree, a “link in bio” service, created an integration with Spotify earlier this month that lets creators set up Shopify storefronts on the landing pages that users encounter from links in those creators’ bios.

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