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Business News/ Technology / App News/  Instagram Channels: All you need to know about the new feature

Meta has rolled out a new feature for Instagram users. Called the Instagram Channels, these are broadcast channels that allow creators to share public, one-to-many messages directly with their followers. The feature was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with his own ‘Meta Channel’- the company’s official channel on Instagram.

In a blog post, the company said that creators will be able to create Channels to share their latest updates and behind-the-scenes moments with the followers. They can send voice notes, and even create polls to crowdsource fan feedback. Only creators will be able to send messages in broadcast channels, while followers can react to content and vote in polls.

Instagram said that it is currently testing broadcast channels with a handful of creators in the US and plans to expand in the coming months. Creators who are interested can sign up to be considered for early access by accessing the waitlist on their mobile device.

How do Instagram Channels work?

Once a creator gets access to broadcast channels, he/she can send messages from their Instagram inbox. Their followers will receive a one-time notification to join the channel. Although anyone can discover the broadcast channel and view the content, but only followers who join the channel will receive notifications whenever there are updates.

Followers can leave or mute broadcast channels at any time. They can also control their notifications from creators by going to a creator’s profile, tapping the bell icon and selecting “broadcast channel." Notifications will default to “some," but this setting can be changed to “all" or “none."

Meta says that other than the invitation notification, followers will not get any other notifications about a broadcast channel unless they add the channel to their inbox. Once a channel is added to their inbox, it will appear among other message threads, and notifications will be turned on and function like any other chat.

How to join a broadcast channel

Followers can access the broadcast channel link via a creator’s Story sticker or the link pinned to their Instagram profile. If they are an existing follower, they will receive a one-time notification when a creator starts a new channel.

To join the broadcast channel, tap on “Join broadcast channel." After joining the channel, followers can react to content and vote in polls. But, they will not be able to send messages. However, they can also share a link to their favorite creators’ broadcast channels so friends can follow and join.

In terms of safety and privacy, Meta says that users will be able to report both a broadcast channel itself or specific content shared in the channel, which can be removed if it goes against the policies.

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Updated: 17 Feb 2023, 01:00 PM IST
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