The Battle for Link in Bio

Franco Varriano
February 22, 2021
 min read

With the rise of creators, we've witnessed an explosion in the number of platforms and tools out there to support them.

Creative Layer has mapped these 150+ tools into 18 categories. Some are small add-ons, others are already on their way to becoming new platforms for the Creator Economy.

In this post, we want to explore a hot area of competition at the moment: the "link in bio" space.


Why is everyone creating link in bio tools?


There are two key reasons behind the boom in this space:

  1. Some social platforms make it difficult to share off-platform content or have character limits. In these cases, users often refer to a main link in bio. This includes on Instagram where hyperlinks in caption text are still not possible.
  2. We’re in the midst of playing out a "Wedge vs Depth" scenario. This concept says that to bring a new product to market, you should first build the smallest solution you can for a target audience in order to gauge traction. You can then expand the product's features over time based on feedback.

In a podcast episode titled The Passion Economy: Redefining Work, Li Jin articulates this principle in the context of today's emerging creator tools (here's a link to the audio clip from that podcast). Jin is the Founder and Managing Partner of Atelier Ventures and a former Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. She says:

"When I've observed a lot of the start-ups in this space, a lot of them have this initial go-to-market wedge of a single product that they give to creators that they can monetize through. So, for example, Substack started with newsletters, Run the World is starting with online events. But they often times have a vision of offering greater depth over time. In other words, they are trying to offer additional content types or products that give creators the ability to earn more, even if they keep the audience size the same."

Now, let's dive into the link in bio landscape and see how it's evolving.

The link in bio landscape

A lot has changed since the early days. Today, link in bio tools have become so much more than just a way to track click-through analytics.

In 2021, these tools can be categorized in two ways:

Traditional tools

These tools enable users to simply manage multiple links or app profiles in a single place.

Some of the top apps in this category include:

Instant Website / Portfolio Builders

This group of apps has evolved the concept from being a centralized collection of links to a reimagined website concept. Some are even reinventing what and how websites are made for creators.

Apps in this category include:

What's next for the link in bio space?

So many more tools are being launched to serve the diverse and rapidly evolving needs of creators.

Many of these tools, depending on their access to capital and the right mix of users/customers, will either launch with depth, or as a wedge that expands over time.

We’re likely to see a consolidation of tools as the landscape matures and the Creator Economy shifts into its "secondary phase" as creators figure out what works for them.

Whichever tools are left will need to direct a creator or entrepreneur's audience and fans to relevant and engaging destinations.

Passive consumption of content and mass manufactured merchandise worked for a while, but today's savvy fans and customers want more. If you’ve been following along, you already have an idea of the types of experiences these fans are looking for.  

Sign-up for early access to Creative Layer if you're interested in the Creator Economy and building products for the next wave of creators and entrepreneurs. And be sure to be part of the journey with us on Twitter and LinkedIn!