Written byShubham Sharma
Facebook's sprawling business lines mostly rely on ad-based revenue, but that does not mean the company is not interested in charging direct fees.
The social network already takes a fee from businesses for select services, and now, a patent has indicated that it may also start charging commission from the users of Instagram, its famous photo-sharing service.
Here's all about it.
Ever since its launch and even after the acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has not offered the option to share live links with photos and videos.
Verified influencers with over 10,000 followers do get the option to share links through Stories, but caption-based linking is still missing.
As a result, many users today circumvent the restriction by adding links to the bio of their profiles.
According to a patent application unearthed by Protocol, Facebook might be looking at the idea of enabling links in captions for a price.
The company's filing outlines a system where putting a link to the caption triggers a pop-up asking if you want to activate the URL in question for a $2 fee.
Upon clicking 'Yes' and making the payment, the link goes live.
"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 feature, if implemented in the future, would create a source of income for Instagram through influencers and brands looking to promote their products.
Also, given that the patented system works for each and every post, users would be able to cherrypick which post is important enough to have a paid link and which one is not.
That said, it must be noted that neither Facebook nor Instagram has given any indication of implementing the fee-based system yet.
It is just a patent at this stage, which tech companies are known to file on a scale of dozens every month.
This means the system could either be used in the future or end up being ditched completely.
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