As discovered through a patent submission, Instagram users may soon be able to add clickable links to their captions in exchange for a fee.
If the online system detects a web address in the caption, it would prompt users with an option to pay a (presently) $2 fee, in exchange for getting the link activated, making the links on Instagram posts clickable.
The patent submission was discovered and first reported by Protocol. Presently, users can add links to their captions, but they are not clickable, nor the user can copy it unless they’re using Instagram via web.
The only way to add usable links on Instagram is via ‘Link In Bio’, and ‘Swipe-Up’ links in Stories – which is only available to users with more than 10,000 followers.
There are several use case scenarios and pros for adding clickable links to captions. The feature holds great potential for brands, publishers and influencers in particular. Currently, publishers or influencers add a description to the caption and the link in bio.
Given the simplicity of the platform, it is rather a tedious process to go from the feed to the profile, through the link in bio, and then find the product or the article.
Although, the big change would affect the user behavior on a larger scale. It would also change the incentive of a user sharing a post which is why Vishal Shah, VP of Product, Instagram had mentioned, the platform would not include bring about this change.
He talked about this in an episode of Matt Navarra’s podcast – ‘The Social Media Geekout’, back in January 2020. He explained that clickable links On Feed posts & reshares change the dynamics of the platform.
For simplicity and a sense of control, “We explicitly are not going to make those changes”, he said.
It is unclear whether the change will be executed or not, on one hand, it would lead to another source of monetization for Instagram, on the other it would change the essence of the platform, but the change would clearly be a big one.
Screenshot Credits: Protocol