Instagram continues to be one of the biggest apps on the planet and part of its huge appeal is that it’s totally free to use. However, that might be about to change with the Facebook-owned firm thought to be considering a radical shake-up to its service.
According to a new patent application, which was spotted by Mike Murphy and the team at Protocol, Instagram could be about to set a fee for anyone who wants to add a link to a website into their photo caption.
Right now, users can’t add any kind of external links when posting a message on the platform which is one of its most annoying traits.
But that could be about to change as long as you are prepared to pay a price. The patent appears to show a pop-up window which will appear when adding a URL to any posts you may happen to be adding.
As soon as a link is spotted by Instagram a message appears which reads, “Would you like to activate the link in your caption for $2?”
It’s certainly a good thing that the social network is considering allowing users to add external links but whether or not people will be willing to pay this fee remains to be seen. It might be, however, a small price to pay for wannabe influencers trying to push traffic to external websites.
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Of course, this is simply a patent right now and there’s nothing to suggest Instagram is about to start charging its users anytime soon.
This payment option isn’t the only update that could be coming to Instagram.
Last year Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed plans to integrate WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Direct into a single messaging platform. This would allow for cross-messaging between these apps as well as support for end-to-end encryption between these communications.
While these plans seemed like a distant dream when they were first reported in 2019, it looks like things are stepping up a gear in 2020. According to a recent article by The Verge, Facebook has already tentatively started this integration process last week – between Instagram and Messenger at least.
Speaking about the changes a Facebook spokesman said: “We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private. We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks. As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work.”