One of the most annoying restrictions on Instagram is that you can’t add links to internet pages to your posts or stories. Although its noble reason is to save its users from clicking to link that may lead to explicit content or spammers, the priority remains generating revenue (via ads) that can be done only by making you stay put on the platform.
Nevertheless, things might change as a patent (discovered by Protocol) filed by Instagram’s parent company Facebook dated September 8, 2020, shows an option to post links in captions.
Apparently, Facebook first submitted the patent application in 2016. From what we can see, the patent reveals a pop-up appearing when a URL is added to a caption. Though it’s a bit relieving, however, the caveat to posting links is that each time you post a photo with a caption with a link, you will be asked to pay a fee of $2 per post.
The patent application which is titled “adding paid links to media captions in a social networking system” describes the following- “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.”
Further, the patent application mentions that the fee may be alternatively based in part on the user’s profile. For instance, the online system may charge an entity a fee to generate a link, but that may not be the case for an individual user.
“When the fee is varied, it may promote the posting of such links by a user with a smaller following, but encourage users with larger followings to use a normal advertising channel for the social online system rather than posting links to a caption of an image,” the patent reads.
Instagram hasn’t explicitly cited whether it has any plans to allow users to add links to Insta posts, although there may be a possibility we will still have to wait until it comes to fruition.
At the moment, all we can do is follow the usual route, place a link in the profile Bio section. Meanwhile, recent reports suggested that Instagram is testing out three new layouts with Reels. The social platform began replacing the Activity tab with the Shopping Tab this July. And with the latest tryouts, it likely seems that Facebook is planning a major revamp to have stiff competition with its rival TikTok, YouTube.