Today, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, made the announcement that the company will introduce “Channels,” a brand-new broadcast chat feature for Instagram. Creators can now directly engage with their followers by sharing public, one-to-many messages using this feature. Text, images, polls, responses, and more are supported by channels. Zuckerberg launched his own broadcast channel to make the feature’s announcement, and he intends to continue sharing Meta updates there.
Today, Instagram began testing channels with a select group of creators in the United States. In the coming months, the feature will be expanded. Creators can use broadcast channels to keep fans up to date and let them see what happens behind the scenes. According to Instagram, only creators can post in broadcast channels, and followers can only respond to content and take part in polls.
Instagram plans to add more features to broadcast channels in the coming months. Some of these features include the ability to invite a different creator into the channel to talk about upcoming collaborations and gather questions for an AMA using question prompts.
Creators now have a new way to update their followers within the app thanks to the new feature. In the past, creators typically shared news and updates with their followers via a story, but now they can engage with fans in a more direct way. Creators can also use the feature to get feedback and promote their content.
Zuckerberg says that Meta intends to introduce channels to Messenger and Facebook in the coming months, even though the feature is being introduced first on Instagram.
A creator can start a channel from their Instagram inbox once they have access to channels. Their followers will receive a one-time invitation to join the channel after they send their first message. Utilizing the “join channel” sticker in Stories, creators can also encourage their followers to join the channel when it is live. The ability for creators to pin their channel to their profile is coming soon.
The content of broadcast channels can be viewed by all social network users, but only followers who sign up for the channel will be notified when the creator posts updates. At any time, followers have control over whether or not they receive notifications from creators and can leave or mute broadcast channels.
Creators who are part of the initial test include Austin Sprinz (@austin_sprinz), Chloe Kim (@chloekim), David Allen (@ToTouchanEmu), FaZe Rug, (@fazerug), Flau’jae Johnson, (@flaujae), Gilbert Burns (@gilbert_burns), Josh Richards (@joshrichards), Karen Cheng (@karenxcheng), Katie Feeney (@katiefeeneyy), Lonnie IIV (@LonnieIIV), Mackenzie Dern (@mackenziedern), Mikaela Shiffrin,(@mikaelashiffrin), Tank Sinatra (@tank.sinatra) and Valkyrae (@valkyrae).
People can report either the broadcast channel itself or specific content that is shared in the channel, which can be removed if it violates Meta policies. Broadcast channels are subject to Instagram’s community guidelines. According to the company, broadcast channels are treated differently from Instagram’s private messaging because they are intended for public and discoverable chat experiences. Meta says that it has reviewers and tools that can help it find, review, or remove content from broadcast channels that might be against its rules.
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