Instagram may charge you a fee for activating a link in a photo caption

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Instagram over the year has gotten all commercial. From pesky advertisements in the newsfeed to influencers’ unapologetic brand promotions, Instagram is leaving no stone unturned to monetise the platform. The company is now looking to further monetise by charging users to add links in a photo caption.

It is worth noting that Instagram does not allow users to put a link in photo captions. Users rely on workaround such as “link in bio” or use URL shorteners. Instagram, however, does allow users who are verified or have at least 10,000 followers to add links in their Stories.

According to a Protocol report, Instagram has applied for a patent that reveals a new functionality wherein the app asks for a fee to activate a link in a caption. The patent hints the app could charge up to $2 to enable the link. The pop-up will appear when the app detects the caption has an URL.

Would you like to pay $2 for activating a link in a caption?
Would you like to pay $2 for activating a link in a caption? (Protocol)

“If the online system detects the text content of the caption includes a string of link text identifying an address, the online system prompts the posting user to pay a fee in exchange for generating a link,” according to the patent application.

The new patent application comes at a time when Instagram is looking to step up its game to rival TikTok. The Facebook-owned company has already introduced and integrated TikTok-like Reels on its platform.

Facebook, in the meanwhile, is working to add a functionality that will allow users to see Instagram Stories directly from the Facebook app. Already, Facebook has begun integrating Instagram’s in-app messaging feature with Messenger.