That's a new measure the techs implemented to help fight the spammers that were overrunning the boards (especially General Discussion) with pages and pages of spam posts. See here (page 2), and in the meantime, once you've posted a few more times, you should be able to include links and/or images in your posts: Spam
For newbies: spam was quite literally taking over the forum - never seen anything like the volume of it. It was noticeable that there were fewer hair related posts, and the regulars were complaining en masse.
I'm glad after myself and others posted a few times this was finally implemented.
In regards to not being able to post links as a newbie poster - on all the various forums I've used and use 99% of newbies have no need to as they aren't posting anything that longer members of that forum haven't seen before.
If you are that desperate to give information then a detailed description if it's related to you personally is enough for you to get help. Most of the photos people post are blurry and lack the necessary detail.
If it's about a website then a mention of the site name and what it's about is enough for one of the first four posters to find it and post a link if it's warranted.