Audience Growth

Instagram Broadcast Channels: How To Use Them To Engage With Your Followers

by Nicholas Bouchard · Published Jul 20, 2023

Instagram has come a long way since the days of the Nashville filter. It’s now a full-fledged social media platform for content creators with a focus on visual mediums — many of the app’s features are designed to help creators build a dedicated audience and drive engagement. Instagram broadcast channels are just the latest addition to these features.

So, what exactly are broadcast channels, and how do they work? Read on for everything you need to know about this new Instagram feature.

What are Instagram broadcast channels?

First launched in February 2023, Instagram broadcast channels allow creators to send direct messages to their followers, in a way that’s a bit like holding a megaphone at a rally. When first announced by Meta, the feature was referred to as a public, “one-to-many messaging tool.”

Creators can reach all followers who’ve joined their broadcast channels, but followers can’t reply. What they can do is reacting to messages with emojis to show their support. This gives creators a more direct way to communicate with their audience. For example, creators can use broadcast channels to share a behind-the-scenes look at their content, share important updates, or get feedback from their audience.

Who can create broadcast channels on Instagram?

When Instagram first introduced broadcast channels, the feature was only open to select creators and users. By June 2023, however, Meta has expanded the feature globally, making it available to “millions of creators.”

To create a broadcast channel, you must have a creator account on Instagram. At the moment, personal and business accounts cannot create broadcast channels.

Key features of Instagram broadcast channels

Instagram creators already have plenty of ways to interact with their followers (Instagram Stories are a prime example), so what makes broadcast channels different? Let’s dive into some of its key features.

One-way messaging

Imagine just how cluttered your DMs would get if you were to 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 a ton of noise as their followers start replying or reacting at once.

More than just text

The chat you start with your followers in an Instagram broadcast channel is much like what you’d get in your DMs — or even Facebook Messenger. You can send text messages, sure, but you can also send photos, videos, and even voice notes. What’s more, you can create polls to get your followers to vote on anything.

Combining broadcast channels with subscriptions

If you’ve already been using Instagram Subscriptions to monetize, broadcast channels are a great way to give your subscribers even more bang for their buck. You can choose to create exclusive broadcast channels (available only to your subscribers), or create channels open for all your followers. So, for example, you can have a channel with general updates for your followers, and one with exclusive behind-the-scenes tidbits for your subscribers.

Read: How to Launch Your Own Instagram Subscription

What’s next for Instagram broadcast channels?

While broadcast channels are already pretty versatile, Meta has recently announced further upgrades to the feature. There’s no information on when these will be rolled out yet, but here’s what creators can expect to see in the near future:

  • More ways to reach your audience: Meta will soon be adding more interactivity to broadcast channels with question prompts. There will also be a channels tab that followers can tap to get direct access to their favorite channels.
  • Creator collabs: Soon, you’ll be able to bring other creators into your broadcast channel, giving them access to your audience and potentially bringing some of theirs as well.
  • New promotion methods: Currently, you can really only promote your broadcast channels through a sticker on your Instagram Stories, or a link in your bio. But Meta will soon give you the ability to share previews of your broadcast channels in your stories, and even set an expiration date for temporary channels.

How to create a broadcast channel on Instagram

When they were first released, Instagram broadcast channels were only available to select creators. But Meta has recently opened up this new feature to creators around the world. That said, some have reported being unable to access broadcast channels, likely due to regional restrictions that are slowly being lifted as they are being rolled out worldwide.

If you have a creator account (not a personal or business account), you should be able to create a broadcast channel. Here’s how:

  1. First, tap the “message” symbol at the top right of your feed.
  2. Next, hit the “write a message” symbol (you’ll find it at the top right again).
  3. Then, you’ll get an option to hit Create broadcast channel. This is where you’ll be able to customize pretty much every aspect of your channel. For instance, you can choose your channel name, audience, when the channel ends, and whether you want to show your channel on your profile.
  4. Finally, hit Create broadcast channel again to finalize everything.

Need to make changes to an existing channel? Just hit the “message symbol” at the top right of your feed, then find Channels at the top of your screen to.

How to invite followers and subscribers to your broadcast channel

Once your broadcast channel is all set up, it’s time to get your followers to join in. There are a few ways you can invite your followers to your channel:

  • Send your first message: When you send the first message through a new broadcast channel, all your followers will automatically get a notification inviting them to join the channel.
  • Sharing an invite link: You can create an invite link for a broadcast channel the same way you would for a group chat. Hit the “message” symbol at the top right of your feed, tap your channel, tap the name of the channel, and hit Invite link — make sure the toggle is turned on. You’ll be able to copy it by hitting the name of your broadcast channel.
  • Sharing a link to the channel in your stories: Like any other content you create on Instagram, you can share a link to your broadcast channel in your stories.
  • Sharing specific messages to your stories: If you don’t want to share the whole channel, you can tap and hold a single message then tap Share to story.

How can I join a broadcast channel on Instagram?

As a follower

When your favorite creator sends the first message in a new broadcast channel, you’ll get a notification that will allow you to join. Just find that notification, tap it, then tap Join broadcast channel.

If you missed the notification, don’t worry! Creators can share links to their channels in stories or display their channels in their bio, so just keep an eye out.

As a collaborator

One of the features Meta will be testing for broadcast channels is the ability to invite collaborators. You can’t go out and join any broadcast channel you want to collaborate on, but admins can send you an invite if they’re looking for collaborators. Watch your notifications to find it and accept it.

And that’s how to use Instagram broadcast channels!

Instagram broadcast channels are shaping up to be a great way for creators to foster a sense of community among their followers — and they pair pretty well with Instagram Subscriptions, too. So, if you have a creator account, get in there and create your first channel. Try sharing some behind-the-scenes clips or updates about your business, and see if that helps you better connect with your audience.

Still early in your creator journey? Download our free guide to learn how you can make your first $100 online.

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Image Credit: Meta

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Further reading

Nicholas Bouchard
About the author

Nicholas Bouchard

Nick Bouchard is a content writer and marketer with a passion for creation. His hobbies range from writing fiction to wrestling. He can only be photographed in national parks and on mountains, and pictures of him usually come out blurry. Some wonder if he even exists at all.
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