Instagram users on Thursday learned about a new feature on the platform in an unusual way – via a random Instagram notification from Mark Zuckerberg inviting them to “join their broadcast channel: Meta Channel.”
The new feature is called broadcast channels(Opens in a new tab), which they describe as a “public, one-to-many messaging tool for creators to directly engage with their followers.”
Basically, creators can message all their followers at once in a one way group chat. Followers can react to content and participate in polls, but they can’t write back. Meta says the goal is for creators to be able to “help followers stay in-the-know with the latest updates and behind-the-scenes moments using text, photo, video, voice notes and polls.”
Once a creator gets access and start a channel, a message will go out to their followers. Creators can add a “join channel” sticker in Stories or add the channel link to their profile
Users that join the channel can find in their Instagram inboxes, and people who have joined will receive notifications for new updates. Users can leave or mute broadcast channels at any time, or turn off a creator’s broadcast channel notifications entirely.
The company is testing out the feature on 14 celebs and creator accounts including Olympian Chloe Kim, skiier Mikaela Shiffrin, and gamers Valkyrae and FaZe Rug. They’ll also be bringing the tool to Messenger and Facebook over the next few months, as well as add more feature like bringing other creators into a channel and question prompts.