Meta has introduced a new feature called ‘Broadcast Channels’ on Instagram. This feature allows creators to send messages and updates to a broad audience in one go, similar to Telegram. Followers can react to the broadcast messages with emojis and vote in polls but cannot send replies. 

Currently, this feature is available on mobile phones only. Meta Channel, Mark Zuckerberg’s personal outlet, will offer news and updates on this highly anticipated addition. In the coming months, broadcast channels will be live on Messenger and Facebook as well.

Image: Meta

How Do Broadcast Channels Work?

After a creator sends their first message through Instagram’s inbox on a broadcast channel, their followers will receive a one-time notification inviting them to join the channel. While anyone can discover and view the broadcast channel’s content, only followers who join the channel will receive notifications of any new updates.

Followers have the freedom to leave or mute broadcast channels at any time. They can control their notifications by visiting the creator’s profile, tapping on the bell icon, and selecting “broadcast channel.” Notifications will be set to “some” by default, but followers can change this setting to either “all” or “none.” 

Aside from the initial invitation notification, followers won’t receive any other notifications about the broadcast channel unless they add it to their inbox. Once the channel is added to their inbox, it will appear like any other chat thread with notifications turned on.

A creator with a broadcast channel will be able to promote it to their followers through the “join channel” sticker in their Stories. Additionally, they would also be able to pin the channel link to their profile in a future update.

A creator would also have the option of choosing whether the updates in their broadcast channel would go to all followers or only to paid subscribers. 

Getting Early Access

Meta is currently testing broadcast channels with a handful of creators in the US. However, they have plans to expand the feature in the coming months. Interested creators can apply for early access by signing up on the waitlist using their mobile devices. Spots are limited, and Meta will provide early access on a rolling basis.

Privacy and Safety

Broadcast channels are subject to Instagram’s Community Guidelines to ensure that users can feel safe and welcome being a part of them. Users can report both a broadcast channel itself or specific content shared in the channel. Instagram will remove the reported content or channel if it goes against its policies.

Broadcast channels are public and discoverable chat experiences, so Instagram treats them differently than private messaging on the platform. Instagram has tools and reviewers to help them identify, review, or remove any content in broadcast channels that may violate their Community Guidelines. 

A New Marketing Tool

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has high hopes for this new feature. He called broadcast channels a “new way for creators to intensify connections with their followers.” Developing meaningful connections and dialogues is a must for social media marketing. So, broadcast channels could prove to be a highly effective tool for influencers and creators. Couples with paid subscriptions, it could provide tremendous opportunities to earn significant online revenues.

The waitlist may already be full, but users are encouraged to check back often to secure a spot!

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