Instagram May Soon Allow Users to Add Post Links for a Fee

By Bill Toulas / September 14, 2020

A recently published patent application from Facebook to the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows that the social media giant is playing with the idea of charging users for adding a link in the caption of their post. The patent image presents a fee of $2.00, which is almost non-existent compared to what an influencer gets from sponsorship deals etc.

Still, this would generate huge amounts of money for Instagram. Of course, this is just a patent image, and the social media platform could very easily come up with a different fee in reality.


Source: US Patent Office

Until now, Instagram users could only add URLs in the bio, while verified users could add links to Stories too. The absence of the ability to add URLs links to media captions, products, stories, or any kind of posts has been a permanent source of complaints. The new system will address this problem while introducing a system that will generate revenue for Instagram, so it will be a win-win situation for everyone, granted that the fee will indeed be small.

The system will operate automatically, detecting the text content on the user’s caption and identifying any strings of link text (URL). When that happens, the user will be served a dialog where they will be given the option to pay a fee for the link’s activation. If the fee isn’t paid, the link is disabled, so there will be no other way to get the URL there. Also, since there are not many ways to disguise a link, its detection should be inevitable.


Source: US Patent Office

Instagram’s patent application also describes a gradual increase in the link fee. For example, the first link generated by the user could have a fee of $2.00, the second could cost the user $3.00, the third could come with a price tag of $4.00, and so on. This could be done in an effort to avoid spamming people with links.

Influencer circles aren’t discussing this patent yet, as a patent application is not necessarily a guarantee that any of what we described above is indeed going to land on the popular social media platform. That said, links may be added on a different fee scheme, may be added without a fee whatsoever, or may not be added at all.

Everything is in the air right now and will remain like this until Instagram writes something about it on the official blog space.

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