Meta is bringing its Telegram-like “broadcast channels” feature to Facebook and Messenger after rolling it out to Instagram and WhatsApp earlier this year. The company announced today that the feature is coming to the two platforms in the coming weeks.
The feature lets creators and public figures share one-to-many messages to directly engage with their followers. Channels support text, images, polls, reactions and more. With broadcast channels, only the creator of the channel can send messages, but viewers can react to messages and vote in polls.
Creators and public figures can use the broadcast channels to share updates with their followers and also share behind-the-scenes moments. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives at the company have been using broadcast channels to share updates about feature and product releases.
Meta is currently testing the ability for Pages on Facebook to create broadcast channels, and expects to roll this out in the coming weeks. Users who manage a Page on Facebook can start a channel directly from their Page if the option is available to them. If it’s not yet available to them, they can join the waitlist.
Once they have created a broadcast channel and shared their first message, their followers will receive a one-time prompt that will ask if they want to join. Users can join broadcast channels directly from a Page’s profile on Facebook, after which they will receive a notification every time a message is posted. Of course, you can mute these notifications but still remain in the channel. You can see the full list of broadcast channels you’re in by looking at your chat list.
Broadcast channels give creators and public figures a new way to update their followers within Meta’s family of apps. In the past, creators have usually created a story or a post to share news and updates with their followers, but they now have the option to use a more direct way to engage with their fans.
When Meta first launched broadcast channels on Instagram in February, the company said it planned to bring the feature to all of its popular apps. Some people may welcome the new feature on Facebook and Messenger, but others not so much. On Zuckerberg’s Facebook post announcing the expansion, one of the top comments reads: “I miss how each app used to be unique.” Some users may not see the need for the same feature on all of Meta’s apps. For instance, if you’re in someone’s broadcast channel on Instagram, you probably don’t also need to be in their Facebook one and receive another set of notifications.