Meta launches broadcast channels for Instagram creators

by | Feb 21, 2023 | News

Meta has unveiled Instagram Broadcast Channels, describing it as “a new way for creators to deepen connections with followers” at scale. Starting this week, the new feature is available to a handful of US creators including snowboarder Chloe Kim and streamer Valkyrae (pictured), but it will be rolled out further across the creator ecosystem soon.

According to Meta, creators can use the one-to-many messaging tool to keep their followers updated and share behind-the-scenes moments using text, photo and video. Creators can also use voice notes to share their latest updates and behind-the-scenes moments, and also create polls to crowdsource fan feedback. Only creators can send messages in broadcast channels, while followers can react to content and vote in polls.

The social platform said more features will be added to broadcast channels in the coming months, “like the ability to bring another creator into the channel to discuss upcoming collabs, crowdsource questions for an ‘ask me anything’ and more”.

Explaining the new feature, Meta said: “Once a creator gets access to broadcast channels and sends the first message from their Instagram inbox, followers will receive a one-time notification to join the channel. Anyone can discover the channel and view the content, but only followers who join will receive notifications of updates.”

As soon as the broadcast channel is live, creators can also encourage followers to join by using the “join channel” sticker in Stories or by pinning the channel link to their profile. Followers can leave or mute channels and can control notifications by going to a creator’s profile, tapping the bell icon and selecting “broadcast channel.”
As referenced above, Meta is currently testing broadcast channels with a handful of creators in the US and plans to expand more widely in the coming months. Creators who are interested can sign up to be considered for early access by accessing the waitlist on their mobile device. For now, channels are only on Instagram but the plan is that they will also soon be rolled out to Facebook and Messenger.

Meta said broadcast channels are public and discoverable chat experiences, so they’re treated differently than private messaging. There are tools and reviewers to help identify, review or remove content that violates community guidelines.

Tech observers have compared the new feature to the Telegram platform and likened it to a kind of group direct messaging service for creators. Using broadcast channels, creators can share updates and sneak peeks in a text-based format – instead of the image-centred updates that Instagram is primarily known for. Some observers have suggested the new feature might be a useful alternative to Twitter for creators.

In a separate development, Meta has also announced plans for a verification subscription service for Facebook and Instagram users. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the service, labelled ‘Meta Verified’, explaining that the move is about “increasing authenticity and security across our services.”

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