Instagram could charge for activating links in descriptions, this is what a new patent raises
According to a patent obtained by Instagram, the company would have a new tool to monetize its services: charge users for activating links in descriptions. The patent estimates a cost of two dollars per activation: so anyone could access the link without the need to copy and paste it into a browser.
Instagram has evolved from a public photo gallery to a complete marketing platform. Multimedia content can provide information and build brand awareness, it is also a good way to display catalogs. But it has a drawback: the impossibility of placing links so that whoever sees the content can click and access the product directly. This can be done in ads, but not in ‘normal’ posts (Stories allow it in professional accounts). A fact that could change based on a patent recently obtained by Instagram.
Two dollars for activating a link in the post
‘Visit our profile to access the link’. Surely you have read similar phrases in Instagram posts: given the impossibility of putting links beyond pasting them in plain text, users have managed to promote their personal and brand pages. Instagram was aware of this need, which is why it filed a patent in 2016 with the idea of having a registered link activation tool. Four years later, Instagram got its patent.
As they discovered in Protocol, Facebook Pay registered a patent for Instagram with which to charge the user to activate the links in their publications. According to the registered schemes, the app would analyze the text of the description and, if a link is found (because the user pastes it when filling it in or because he writes the URL), a pop-up window would pop up offering you the option to pay to activate the link. In this way, any user who accesses the publication can click directly on the link to access the product, all without copying and pasting the text and without the ‘tricks’ of having to go through the profile.
The patent puts a price of two dollars per link, although this cost would only be an example. And there is no record that Instagram finally ends up charging the links, although it would make perfect sense. At the end of the day, those most interested in this function are the brands and ‘influencers’ who carry out actions of those brands.