What You Need to Know About Instagram Broadcast Channels

If you’ve seen several messages saying, “@username invites you to join their Broadcast Channel,” you’re me over the past few months since Meta announced the feature in February 2023. What was once a trickle is now a flood as Instagram opened its Broadcast Channels feature to (almost) every user in June 2023.

So what’s this feature? How does it work? These are a couple of the questions we want to answer about this feature for Instagram creators.

How do Instagram broadcast channels work?

If you’ve been looking for ways to get big updates to your Instagram audience that you’re confident will be seen, this feature is for you.

instagram broadcast channels

Broadcast channels are one of the latest Instagram features. They allow creators to send direct messages to their followers. For the receivers, it’s like a mass WhatsApp group text you can’t reply to. Anyone with a Creator account on Instagram can access it and open up their one-to-many group chat.

This feature capitalizes on what Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri noted as the shift in how users are engaging on the platform – in private messages.

Two things to note about broadcast channels:

  • creators can only reach followers who have joined (that’s why you’re seeing the notifications)
  • channel members can’t reply – they can only react with emojis to show their support or otherwise of the creator’s message

The feature is reminiscent of YouTube’s Community tab, except those allow comments. Still, it’s a valuable tool as it gives creators a direct way to communicate with their segment of followers that actively engage with them.

Why create an Instagram broadcast channel

You can use broadcast channels to share content you want a specific group of people to see. That group could be people you want to give exclusive access to your Instagram content (like a behind-the-scenes look).

Or it could just be the people who have indicated that they are engaged followers (by joining your channel), so you know you’ll get better responses from them than putting up an Instagram Story or sending DMs one-on-one. Some more reasons to create an Instagram broadcast channel include:

A better way to send one message to many people

You might have found yourself wishing you had a way to get more of your followers to engage with content that made a specific request, like feedback collection. Or you may have found that your updates get lost in the algorithm.

However, you usually only have two options: send a mass message hoping you get enough people to click through to your site and then take the action you require or send a DM to each follower. But imagine just how cluttered your DMs would get if you message back and forth with all your followers individually.

That’s where Instagram broadcast channels come in. They give creators a one-way, streamlined communication method, so there isn’t too much noise as their followers reply or react at once.

Expanded formats beyond just text

The chat you start with your followers in an Instagram broadcast channel is much like what you’d get in your DMs. It even lives in the same place – your Instagram inbox – on the same tab.

You also have an array of formats to choose from – text, photos, videos, voice notes, and even polls to get feedback or votes from your followers.

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