Ever since Instagram began to explode in popularity, I—and surely you, astute reader of Xataka— I have been hearing a recurring question from friends who at some point encountered the same barrier: “why is it not possible to put a link?“. We can think that Instagram did it to protect us from the spammers, which make the Internet insufferable with its millions of ubiquitous links. It also sounds reasonable to assume that they simply did it to prevent leaks to content that would scratch minutes. The cholismo of Zuckerberg, an empire that is built scroll a scroll.
Over the years, Instagram allowed them, but with too many asterisks. So many, that the original shortcut to be able to use them ended up becoming chronic: “Link in bioWith those three words we began to point to the biography of our profile to place the hyperlinks there that would derive traffic to the website that interested us. Inconvenient, but it was what it was.
without really knowing how, those three words have become an industry of more than 1,000 million dollars. And they can be more.
Australia-based Linktree is the most popular service for centralizing links. It is used to display a list of addresses (social networks, stores, specific content, etc) instead of just one in those places that only allow one URL in each profile. Case of Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. It started six years ago, but in the last two is when it has had vertical growth.
In three rounds of financing, it has managed to raise more than 165 million dollars that their valuation has skyrocketed to $1.3 billion. In a company of 240 employees. That centralizes social links on a single website.
To put the figure in context: Linktree, a service used essentially to add miscellaneous links to Instagram bios, is worth $1.3 billion. Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.
On side B of the disc, the fragility of Linktree: it is only one product decision on Instagram (allow ubiquitous links and for anyone) to lose all its meaning. And there have been rumors along those lines for a year and a half. It currently has 25 million users, of which they have not specified how many are from one of their payment proposals. They consider that they are still in a phase of explosive growth, and they have no other way to monetize today.
Negotiations for this latest round of financing, the one that has rocketed its valuation beyond the unicorn bar, took place in the same weeks in which we saw Wordle’s rise to fame (“the vestige of an Internet that is barely exists!”) and its subsequent sale to The New York Times with the star candidate poster to fatten up their monthly subscription services. In other words, it has been the penultimate parade of a puppy that ends up in the animal shelter.
Linktree looks similar. That of a service that came to fill a gap left by a technology company, with a proposal effective by simple. So simple that it is difficult to understand how it has become a unicorn in a short time, with 250 employees and a business model that depends on a decision in the offices of Meta and that today does not have much more travel. In its favor, it must be said that, unlike other competitors, it has been able to add powerful integrations, such as PayPal and Shopify, directly to monetization. Of course, venture capital will know.