Instagram, now under the ownership of Meta, has expanded its broadcast channels feature to India and worldwide. This move comes four months after its introduction, aiming to enhance direct engagement between creators and their followers.
Like Telegram channels, this feature enables users to share text, videos, and photos with those who join the channel. Additionally, creators can utilize voice notes to share behind-the-scenes moments and conduct polls to gather feedback from fans.
Unlike traditional messaging services, followers cannot post messages on these channels. They can, however, react to the shared content and participate in polls. Channel creators can invite participants to engage in the channel through the Collaborators feature.
It’s important to note that broadcast channels are public, allowing any Instagram user to discover and view their content, similar to how Telegram channels function. However, only followers who join the channel will receive notifications in their message inbox alongside their direct or group message threads.
Upon sending the first message, creators trigger a one-time notification for all followers to join the channel. People can also use the “join channel” sticker in Stories or pin the channel link to their profile to encourage further participation.
Joining a channel allows individuals to leave or mute it at any time. They can also manage channel notifications by accessing the creator’s profile, tapping the bell icon, and selecting “broadcast channel.”
Instagram emphasizes that default notification settings will only deliver select notifications from joined channels, but users can adjust this to “all” or “none.”
In India, channels from popular accounts such as rapper MC Stan, The International Cricket Council (ICC), and the Mumbai Indians cricket team have gained significant followings.
The company has also provided a sneak peek into upcoming features for broadcast channels, including question prompts to gather feedback and a dedicated channels tab within the inbox for easy access and channel discovery.
Instagram is actively exploring additional controls for creators to manage and promote their broadcast channels. These potential features include setting an expiration date and time and adding a moderator to oversee members, messages, and content.
Instagram assures users that broadcast channels will be subject to their Community Guidelines. Any violations can be reported, leading to removing the track or specific content. The platform employs tools and reviewers to identify and address potential violations promptly.