Instagram is not charging outbound links on captions

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Instagram commits that it will not apply charges for users that would like to include outbound links on image captions despite patent applications.

Instagram has been on the hot seat in the past few months. The company was seen as a vulture waiting to swoop in on the carcass of TikTok. Amid the talks on the forced sale of the Chinese company, Instagram was quick to launch Reels. The former CEO of TikTok even threw fuel to the fire when it called out Reels as a copycat.

It remains to be seen how the timeliness of the Reels announcement will turnout. However, the Facebook-owned company is adamant about snatching away the leadership position of TikTok.

Instagram outbound links will be free of charge

Mike Murphy of Protocol found out a very interesting patent filing of Instagram. In it, the patent suggests that Instagram is planning on charging fees for outbound links on image captions.

The patent is pretty straightforward. A user just needs to upload a link to the image caption box. The system automatically detects the links, if there’s any, and prompts a payment question. The image on the patent asks for a US$2 fee for every link in the image caption uploaded.

Right now, accounts can only upload links in the bio portion of the account. No user can include direct outbound links on the captions. The other option to include outbound links is for verified users to have them in their Stories. As such, the options for link outs are quite limited.

Despite this discovery of the patent, a representative from Instagram said to The Verge,

“We have no plans of introducing this functionality on Instagram.”

What’s new with the photo-sharing social media platform?

Instagram has been busy during the pandemic period. The misinformation drive on the platform wasn’t as hectic as on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. However, it also had its fair share of fact-checking.

During the pandemic, Instagram was more focused on supporting small businesses to stay afloat. It promoted local-shopping support. It provided free stickers that business owners can share on their stories and images uploaded.

Instagram also put forth the well-being of its employees and its users during the height of COVID-19. It pushed the Guide tab on well-being content creators’ feed. In the new tabs, users can directly see the step-by-step guide on how to keep their bodies healthy.

Instagram partnered with health and wellness gurus that uploads health guides for users. The contents vary from exercises, meditations, and food preparation. It also includes tips and practices to achieve a peaceful and calm mind amid the world’s ongoing problems.

Image from Hayls World/ YouTube thumbnail

Steven Hung

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Steven Hung

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