link in bio

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link in bio is a common expression on silos like Instagram which disallow linking from posts, directing viewers to the respective social media profile which usually allows only one link, which motivates linking to a link-in-bio service to show multiple links, usually at a short vanity path.

(needs screenshots, especially on mobile, of "well done" examples both indieweb and silo)

Why

Why have a page with a stack of links?

  • When styled as buttons with center-aligned text that looks simple and unconfusing, it can enable viewers looking for different things to find them quickly and easily on a mobile device.

Examples of different things that viewers may be looking for:

  • e.g. a single link representing a cause or advocacy organization can provide specific
    • call-to-action links
    • links to local chapters
    • links to related causes

This also encourages a broader set of folks to share that one link (on their site or social media) rather trying to communicate different links to different people to share for different purposes.

Why use a link-in-bio service in particular:

  • Indirection and resisting social media link removal
    • a link-in-bio link in your social media profile resists scanning of specific links/domains by the social media site for targeted blocking
    • E.g. Instagram will remove any account with obvious adult site links but they won't if those links are behind a Linktree link

IndieWeb Examples

IndieWeb Examples of things that look/act like a "link in bio" service, without actually having to be on a service:

Andy Bell

Andy Bell has a link-in-bio page: https://andy-bell.co.uk/links/ since ????-??-??

  • actually references Linktree by name in the page description

Anthony Ciccarello

Anthony Ciccarello has https://www.ciccarello.me/links/ since 2020-11-29

  • Adapted mobile-focused style and added QR code to open on phone
  • Currently a distinct list but considering listing pinned bookmarks

Aaron Parecki

Aaron Parecki has https://aaronpk.tv/links/ since ????-??-??

  • Modified a theme from LinkFree
  • Shows a thumbnail of the 3 most recent Instagram posts, linking to the link mentioned in the post
  • Shows other related links below
  • At the bottom has links to the main website and other profiles

fluffy

fluffy's main page acts as both an entry portal to the site, and also a collection of other social links.

Paul Houlihan

Paul Houlihan added a link-in-bio page https://pauho.net/links/ on 2022-03-26.

  • Generated as a Wordpress page, with some simple CSS to display the list of links as simply as possible.

Other Examples

Silo Examples

Alphabetical list of sites that were designed specifically to help folks create simple views of multiple links at a single link that they could put in their social media profiles. Some of these go beyond "link lists" and allow richer styling, themes, or even images or multiple columns, and can be used to build a homepage with content.

legacy origins

  • about.me is/was perhaps the original "link in bio" service before they were called that, yet does not by default provide simple stacked list of links so it’s listed here separate from the other examples.

jsdr

The following link-in-bio silo examples are blank (js;dr) or otherwise unusable without Javascript and are thus not recommended. It’s fundamentally bad engineering to depend on scripting to literally view a simple list of links which can be 100% handled by static HTML.

Tools

WordPress Plugins

WordPress Themes

  • There’s an old (predating 2010-06-17) MiniCard WordPress theme by Mike Jolley which visually has a similar look to Linktree which is described as a business card site for displaying social media sites that had built in vCard/hCard support.
    • An example of the theme can be found in use on Alex Enkerli's website.

Open source DIY alternative:

Articles

  • 2022-01-26 Michael Waters: The New Personal Website Isn’t Really a Website at All (archived) — Instagram and TikTok stars are helping transform simplistic “link-in-bio” pages into sprawling, interactive displays.
    • In a study done for The Atlantic, the web-analytics firm Parse.ly estimated that Linktree links account for nearly half of all the link-in-bio traffic on Instagram.
    • An explosion of companies sporting names such as Shorby, Linkin.bio, Beacons, Tab Bio, and Koji […] are giving the link-in-bio a glow-up.
    • Criticism of article: The article (and many companies held up as examples in it) make the logical error that one needs to use a link in bio service (a silo within a silo), to promote their businesses because their "link in bio" needs to point at their homepage. Why couldn't it point to any landing or content page on their website with custom content for their audience coming from a particular social service? An IndieWeb approach gives them so much more power and agency here.
  • 2022-03-16 Nick Heer: ‘Link in Bio’ Is Apparently a Billion-Dollar Business (archived)
    • This raise values Linktree at a whopping $1.3 billion.
    • Notably, this valuation is higher than Instagram’s was when it was acquired by Facebook.

See Also