Meta introduces Broadcast Channels to Instagram

Meta has announced that it’s adding a new Broadcast Channels feature to Instagram. Channels is a public one-to-many messaging tool that allows creators to engage with their followers directly at scale.

Creators can use Channels to help their followers stay in-the-know. The introduction of the new feature was announced by Mark Zuckerberg, who revealed the news on Instagram with his own “Meta Channel ????”.

What is Broadcast Channels?

Creators can use Channels as a casual, quick way to keep followers up-to-date. They can use text, photo, video and voice notes to share their latest updates and behind-the-scenes moments and even create polls to crowdsource fan feedback. Only creators can send messages, while followers can react to content and vote in polls.

The new feature gives creators a new way to update their followers within the app. In the past, creators have usually posted a story to share updates with their followers. However, they now have the chance to use a more direct method.

Meta has announced that some of Instagram’s most-followed creators have already started to use Channels. These include:

  • Chloe Kim, Two-time Olympic gold medallist snowboarder: Follow @chloekim
  • Flau’jae, Basketball and rap star: Follow @flaujae
  • Gilbert Burns, Mixed Martial Artist: Follow @gilbert_burns
  • Josh Richards, Media Personality and Entrepreneur: Follow @joshrichards
  • Karen Cheng, Creative Director: Follow @karenxcheng
  • Lonnie IIV, Digital Creator: Follow @LonnieIIV
  • Mackenzie Dern, Jiu-Jitsu black belt UFC fighter: Follow @mackenziedern
  • Mikaela Shiffrin, Winningest Woman Alpine Skier of All Time: Follow @mikaelashiffrin
  • Tank Sinatra, Meme Sensation: Follow @tank.sinatra

At present, Meta is only testing Channels with a select number of US-based creators. However, the company plans to expand the feature quickly in the coming months.

More new features will soon follow

Meta has also announced that more features will be coming to Instagram in the next few months. For example, soon creators will gain the ability to bring another creator into their channel. This way, both creators will be able to discuss upcoming collaborations, collect questions from audience members and more.

Similarly, although Channels is currently only available on Instagram, Meta plans to test Channels in Messenger and Facebook in the coming months.

Why does this matter?

Instagram’s new Channels feature could be a very useful tool that will allow creators to interact with their community directly. It will also help them easily and quickly share the latest information and get feedback from their most-loyal followers. Plus, given the current uncertainty over at Twitter, many creators will be relieved that Instagram is launching a largely text-based communication method.

However, it must be said that Instagram’s new Channels feature isn’t revolutionary. After all, the concept is very similar to Telegram’s Channels feature and it looks similar to both the Clubhouse app and Twitter spaces. How Meta makes the feature standout in such a crowded market remains to be seen.

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