No, Instagram is not going to charge you for putting links in captions

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According to a new tech patent filed by Facebook for “Adding paid links to media captions in a social networking system”, the tech giant might be looking into adding paid links to photo captions. However, Instagram says that it has no such plans. The patent was discovered by Protocol’s Mike Murphy and reported by The Verge.

The patent application was submitted by Facebook in 2016 and showed a pop-up appearing when a user adds a URL to a caption asking if he/she/they want to pay $2 to make the link live.

Paid links or links in Instagram captions are not arriving any time soon, an Instagram spokesperson has said.
Paid links or links in Instagram captions are not arriving any time soon, an Instagram spokesperson has said. (The Verge)

The patent application describes how this ‘paid link’ feature is supposed to work – if the online system detects the text context of the caption includes a “string of link text identifying an address”, the system will prompt the user to pay a fee in exchange for generating a link.

This has been one of the biggest complaints on Instagram for a while now. If you want to add a link to a story, product or anything else to your post on the platform, you cannot add URLs to captions or photos. Most users resort to the “Link in bio” route. Only verified Instagram users can add links to their Stories that you can “Swipe up” to read/shop/see etc.

However, paid links or links in Instagram captions are not arriving any time soon, an Instagram spokesperson has said. The spokesperson told The Verge that they have no plans of introducing this functionality.

While this means that you do not have to pay anything, it also means that most users are stuck with the “Link in bio” option.