Influencer, brace yourself – Instagram might consider charging a fee to add links to photo captions, a patent application suggests. Mike Murphy discovered it as part of his (fascinating!) Weekly roundup of technology patents on Protocol.
The patent application, which Instagram’s parent company Facebook first filed in 2016, shows a pop-up that appears when the user adds a URL to a caption, asking if the user would like to pay $ 2 to return. active connection.
The patent application (titled “Adding Paid Links to Media Captions in a Social Networking System”) describes how the system would work: “If the online system detects the textual content of the caption it includes a link text string that identifies an address, the system requires the posting user to pay a fee in exchange for generating a link. “
This, of course, has long been one of the biggest complaints on Instagram – if you want to include a link to a story, product, or anything else in your post, you can’t add URLs to photo captions. Most people follow the “link in bio” route and verified Insta users can add links to stories. The question here will be whether Instagram influencers, brands, and other users will be willing to pay a per-link fee. But it seems like a no-brainer to generate revenue for Instagram if this goes into effect.
However, as with any patent, it is important to note that companies are continually requesting patents for products and services that are never made, so it is not known if or when this functionality might actually occur. Maybe not yet indulge in the luxury of that new selfie stick.