instagram channels

Instagram launched today a new feature called “Channels” that allows creators to broadcast messages to a group of followers to keep them updated with whatever they are doing, creating, or promoting.

The new tool was presented by no other than the head of Meta Platforms (META) – the parent company of Instagram – Mark Zuckerberg, who deemed Channels as a new for people to get chats from their favorite creators.

Zuckerberg inaugurated the use of the feature with the creation of a channel called “Meta Channel” in which he promised to put up information about everything new that his company is working on or releasing before it is made public anywhere else.

How Do Instagram Channels Work?

Channels will be powered by Meta’s Messenger platform, and it is categorized as a “one-to-many” messaging tool that will foster engagement between creators and their audience of followers.

Different types of content can be sent by using Channels. Its user-facing interface resembles that of direct messages. According to Meta, the feature will only be available in the United States for now but could soon be launched worldwide.

Moving forward, followers will be able to subscribe to their favorite channels and may participate in polls and interact with the content the creator pushes forward such as videos, messages, and audio files.

Also read: Meta Platforms Could Be Preparing Another Round of Layoffs

The channels will be read-only, meaning that fans will not be able to send messages. However, they can react to the content. Meta will soon be incorporating new features to Channels that will progressively increase the use cases for this new tool.

Creators who cater to an audience of paid subscribers will also be able to create private channels that can only be accessed by those who pay a monthly fee. Every time some content is uploaded, the subscribers will receive a notification so they can quickly check the channel to see what is going on.

Meta platforms to release a similar feature for both Facebook and Messenger over the coming months and creators from outside the US can already apply to be able to test the feature overseas.

Alessandro Paluzzi, leaked in October last year that Instagram was working on a broadcasting feature. He mentioned back then that the company was developing two types of channels: Social and Broadcast. Paluzzi is a software developer who usually keeps track of the changes that Meta makes to the source code of its applications.

The Social channel supported up to 250 subscribers while the Broadcast channel could gather up to 1 million followers.


Maintaining Instagram’s Dominance is Key to Meta

Instagram has been struggling lately to maintain dominance over the social media space as TikTok has been growing rapidly and already amasses more than 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs). The first response from the platform was to launch a TikTok-like format called “Reels” that has proven to be very effective at keeping younger cohorts engaged.

Reels are short videos that can be created from scratch by using pictures and videos. Music can be added easily by using the editing tool created by Instagram along with many other tweaks such as filters and speed. Reels can last up to 90 seconds.

Also read: Meta Introduces Changes to Ad-Tracking Transparency Feature

Statistics from Demand Sage indicate that over 2 billion people interact with reels every month. This same website reported that surveys indicate that young audiences believe TikTok and Instagram Reels are “essentially the same”.

At a point when Facebook is becoming a dinosaur for the youngest cohorts, keeping Instagram on top of the current trends in the social media space is crucial to Zuckerberg and his team.

That said, Meta is undergoing several internal changes as the company is aiming to make 2023 a “year of efficiency” by trimming its headcount to reduce its operating expenses while allocating resources more wisely to its most promising projects at a point when it is actively working to push forward its metaverse initiatives.

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