Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is introducing a new feature called “Channels” on Instagram that enables creators to share public, one-to-many messages to interact directly with their followers. The feature provides support for various forms of content like text, images, polls, reactions, and more. This feature will allow creators to use broadcast channels to update followers and share behind-the-scenes moments.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature, and he himself started a broadcast channel where he will be sharing Meta updates going forward. Channels are being tested with selected creators in the US, with plans to expand the feature in the coming months. Broadcast channels are designed only for creators to post content, with followers having the ability to react and participate in polls.
Creators can now update their followers with a more direct way to engage with them in the app, as opposed to posting stories to share news and updates. The feature also enables creators to get feedback from followers and promote their content. In the coming months, Instagram plans to add more features to broadcast channels, including the ability to invite another creator to the channel to discuss upcoming collaborations and collect questions for an AMA via question prompts.
Meta plans to bring the feature to Messenger and Facebook in the future, according to Zuckerberg. Once a creator gets access to channels, they can start a channel from their Instagram inbox, and followers will receive a one-time notification to join the channel after the creator sends their first message. Creators can also encourage their followers to join by using the “join channel” sticker in Stories, and they will soon be able to pin their channel to their profile.
Broadcast channels are discoverable by all users on the social network, but only followers who join the channel will receive notifications when the creator posts updates. Followers have the ability to leave or mute broadcast channels at any time and control their notifications from creators.
Meta has stated that broadcast channels are subject to Instagram’s community guidelines, and people can report both the channel and specific content shared in the channel that goes against Meta policies. The company has tools and reviewers to help identify, review or remove the content in broadcast channels that may violate its guidelines.