Update: Despite the unearthed patent application, a Facebook spokesperson told PEDESTRIAN.TV there are currently no plans to roll out a pay-for-links functionality for Instagram captions.
“This idea came from a hackathon several years ago,” the spokesperson said.
Influencers hold onto your clutches, because Instagram may be soon charging you fees to add links to your photo captions. Your money is their money too I guess?
A new patent application discovered by Mike Murphy at Protocol suggests that we will finally be allowed to add links into our Instagram captions, but at a cost. This means no more ‘link in bio’ shenanigans if everything goes through as planned.
The patent application, which was first submitted by Instagram parent company Facebook in 2016, shows that whenever you add a link into your caption, you’ll be asked to pay $2 to make the link live and interactive.
The patent application is aptly titled “adding paid links to media captions in a social networking system”, and describes how this new innovation would work.
“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.”
For the longest time on Instagram, whenever you wanted to add any links into your caption, they just wouldn’t be live and accessible. This birthed the reliance on ‘link in bio’ apps, which are now used by multiple companies and individuals running businesses/freelance operations.
This will be an interesting change to the app if it comes through, as most people would find it easier to read the caption and click the link to save those extra five seconds of diving into one’s bio. Whether or not Instagram influencers will bite is another story, but it seems like a mostly win-win situation.
Of course, as with any patent that comes round, it is important to keep in mind that companies apply for patents all the time that never really come to fruition. It is however extremely fun to imagine a world in which they do, like when that Nintendo controller patent was making waves last year because it looked absolutely hideous.
Honestly, I’m just waiting for someone to make an interactive link to Shrek 2’s I Need A Hero scene in their newest Instagram caption.Image: Getty Images / Alexander Spatari