The “Instagram Broadcast Channels” feature is a new addition to Instagram and is effectively a group messaging feature within the app where brands and content creators can talk directly to their followers and keep them updated through text, photos, videos, voice notes, and polls.

Broadcast Channels are essentially broadcast chats. They were launched this week through Mark Zuckerberg’s Stories. This feature is being tested in the US with a group of content creators.

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Instagram message

According to Instagram’s latest blog post, “Once a creator gets access, they can start a broadcast channel from their Instagram inbox. Upon sending their first broadcast channel message, their followers will receive a one-time notification to join the channel. 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.”

Instagram update

Following that, fans can read and respond to chat messages, but at the same time, they are unable to publish their own messages to the chat stream. To engage, they can react to messages, and vote in polls!

This move is towards increasing private messaging within the app, since most Instagram users are currently engaging with others’ content, as opposed to posting on Stories or the main feed. Broadcast channels are also a great way for creators to form a deeper connection with their most engaged fans, at scale.

Instagram Broadcast Channels

This is aligned with the general trend of users turning towards messaging rather than sharing public updates, and Channels may be another way to support this by assisting creators and brands in engaging with their audiences in more natural and organic ways, as opposed to trying to maintain declining feed engagement. We are excited to see what this new feature holds for creators and their communities.