Influencers, brands, entrepreneurs, brace yourselves: Instagram may be considering charging a fee to add links to photo captions. The patent application, which Instagram parent company Facebook first submitted back in 2016, shows a pop-up appearing when the user adds a URL to a caption, asking if the user wants to pay $2 to make the link live. 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 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.”
This, of course, has long been one of the biggest complaints about Instagram: that if you want to include a link to a story, product, or anything else in your post you can’t add URLs to captions of photos. Most people go the “link in bio” route, and verified Instagram 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. Are you willing to pay?