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What is Instagram’s new Channels feature?

Instagram phone

What is Instagram’s new Channels feature?

Instagram has recently released a new feature called Channels, which will enable further communication from businesses and brands to their audiences.

This new feature was announced by Meta CEO (the parent company of Instagram, along with Facebook and WhatsApp) Mark Zuckerberg on his official Instagram account, @zuck. Posting on his Instagram story, Zuckerberg explained the new “broadcast chat feature”.

Essentially, Channels will allow people to get direct messages from creators, brands and businesses, either on those people/businesses in general or on a specific topic, depending on what the creator decides to focus the channel on. In his example, Zuckerberg set up a Meta channel, in which he explained he’ll be sharing updates and news on the technology and products being developed at Meta – revealing this will be where such news is revealed first, a clever incentive to get people on board with the new feature.

Channels appear in a user’s direct messaging tab, and they work in a similar way, albeit one-sided from the channel creator. Creators can post text updates, images and polls, with followers able to react to messages, but not reply. Zuckerberg also revealed that these Channels will soon support collaborations between creators and brands, along with “ask me anythings” (where users can submit questions for creators/brands to answer). What’s more, this new feature will be rolled out to Facebook and Facebook Messenger in the months to come.

When an account sets up a Channel, all followers will be invited to join it when the first message is sent – businesses can’t choose to invite specific people to a channel (yet, at least). As with many new updates from Meta, this is being gradually rolled out, with a waitlist now available for those wishing to secure early access*.

This new feature will help to facilitate direct communication from brands to their audiences. With algorithms on platforms like Instagram and Facebook making it increasingly harder for organic posts to be seen by followers, this new Channels feature seems like a great way of counteracting that and placing messaging directly in a user’s inbox.

Maintaining communication with your target audience is key for both brand awareness and to help convert cold leads into warm ones, and to eventually convert. If you need help with putting your business in front of your target audience online, speak to our team here at Engage Web today.

Emily Jones

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