6 min read
If you have used Telegram or Discord before, this concept will be familiar, but instead of a community discussing shared interests and topics, this is like a personal notice board for creators.
After gaining access to the broadcast channels function, a creator can send the first message from their Instagram inbox, and their followers will receive a one-time reminder to join the channel. Everyone can access the broadcast channel and view the content, but only channel followers will receive updates.
Followers can leave or mute broadcast channels at any moment, and they can also control their creator notifications by visiting a creator's profile, touching the bell icon, and selecting broadcast channel.
Creators can urge their followers to join the broadcast channel as soon as it goes live by using the "join channel" sticker in Stories or by pinning the channel link to their profile (coming soon). For additional exclusive content, creators can even make a broadcast channel that is only available to premium subscribers.
Additional capabilities for broadcast channels will be added in the coming months, such as the ability to bring another creator into the channel to discuss planned collaborations, crowdsource questions for a "ask me anything" session, and more.
This new feature seems like a necessary sidestep for Meta, as many creators have adopted a more authentic and personal approach to interacting with their fans. Being able to directly address and update fans will further extend the relatable image that apps like TikTok have generated, with unedited and in-the-moment videos.
This will also be a huge help in content creation as followers can become more influential in the decision-making of content, providing more certainty of a positive reception.
Also, with an option down the line for an ‘exclusive content’ option for premium subscribers, this will take some of the market share away from pay-to-view apps like OnlyFans and Fanvue. Having this premium feature in Instagram is a great move by Meta, opening another layer to what has always been a free app.
Brands can use this feature to create a private channel for their most loyal customers, offering discounts and early access. For example, take your favourite clothing brand, if they offered a scheme where spending over £100 provided you access to a channel with regular discounts and other rewards, would you do it? If done correctly, the use of these channels will increase the brand's desirability and potentially ignite a cult-like fan base.
This new feature is a silver bullet for marketers. With broadcast channels, instead of just posting campaigns to the vast landscape of Instagram feeds, we can now select our target audience and add them to a broadcast channel providing them with bespoke, targeted content.
I know what you are thinking, how can my brand monetise this? There are several ways brands can utilise the ‘exclusive content’ option but the most prominent for most brands will be creating a pay-to-view channel. Instead of people subscribing to your company newsletter, where they only get insights and special offers intermittently. With these channels, your company can be a continuous hub of industry insights and news, for of course, a price…
As for when and how your business can implement this feature, it is still in the early stages, with Meta trialling broadcast channels with a handful of creators in the US from Feb 2023. Meta has also announced this feature will be rolled out on Messenger and Facebook in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled!
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