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Instagram may allow users to share links in captions for a fee, patent suggests

As per a patent submitted by Facebook, Instagram will detect captions with a link and send a prompt to make it live for money.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | September 14, 2020 | Updated 14:59 IST

Highlights

  • Facebook submitted a patent to add paid links to media captions on Instagram.
  • This works when Instagram detects link texts in the caption followed by a prompt.
  • As of now users share links by adding them in bio, links on Instagram stories for verified users.

For the longest time, Instagram users have been asking for an option to share live links in the captions. Now, they may get the ability to add links in photo captions on Instagram, but for a fee. As per a patent submitted by Facebook first noted by Protocol, the company seeks to add paid links to media captions. The patent application 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."

The patent application, submitted by Facebook shows a pop up asking if the user wants to pay $2 to make a link in the caption live. This would work by Instagram detecting link texts in the caption followed by a prompt to make payment.

As of now, Instagram does not allow users to share live links in captions and users have to make do by sharing links in bio. Verified Instagram users with at least 10 thousand followers can share links in stories. The feature to add live captions on Instagram may or may not materialise since tech companies submit several patents every year.

The patent notes that such links can prove as an alternate method for advertisers with no additional cost charged to post their ads without generating multiple links. It further notes that the fee for posting clickable links may be a flat fee or may vary based on a number of other users that are connected to the posting user via the online system, the number of times a user posts items online, and the views or response a user's posting gets online.

As per the patent, the fee may vary based on the profile of the Instagram users as well. Individual profiles with smaller following may not attract a big fee but a business account might.

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