What Are Facebook and Instagram Broadcast Channels?

Key Takeaways

  • Facebook and Instagram broadcast channels allow businesses and public figures to send public messages to all their fans, including text, photos, videos, and more.
  • Users can join a broadcast channel by tapping on a notification or navigating to the channel through the app or inbox.
  • Broadcast channels are public, anyone can join and see past messages, and invites are automatically sent to followers when a channel is launched. Users can turn off invitations and mute notifications if desired.

Perhaps you’ve seen the notification that looks something like this: “Netflix has invited you to join their broadcast channel.” Meta recently introduced broadcast channels for both Facebook and Instagram as another way for creators and Pages to reach their biggest fans. But what are Facebook and Instagram broadcast channels? How do you join a broadcast channel on Facebook and Instagram? Or perhaps more importantly, should you join a broadcast channel?

Related: Instagram launches Broadcast Channels to give creators a new way to talk to followers

Broadcast channels are a new way for businesses and public figures to message all of their followers at once, sending anything from announcements to videos to polls. As one of the social media platform’s newest features, broadcast channels are bound to come with their share of questions. We’ve explored the new feature to find all the ins and outs.

What are Facebook and Instagram broadcast channels?

A broadcast channel on Facebook and Instagram allows a business or public figure to send public messages out to all its fans. These messages can be in the form of text or photos, videos, Reels, GIFs, or voice notes. Unlike a group chat, however, only the administrator(s) can send messages. Instagram also allows channels to invite collaborators, who can also post messages. Followers can react to messages or participate in polls but cannot send messages through the broadcast channel.

Broadcast channels live largely inside the Facebook app and Messenger chat list. Similarly, Instagram channels are also accessible from the inbox. Unlike a post to the news feed, followers will receive notifications for each message (unless notifications are muted). That allows broadcast channels to distribute information to channel subscribers quickly.

Pages and public profiles can have more than one broadcast channel. This allows followers to follow only the topics they are most interested in. For example, on Instagram, Netflix has some broadcast channels dedicated to a specific series and another dedicated to sports. Creators can also set an end date for broadcast channels. This can be used, for example, to create a channel around a specific event and automatically retire that channel once the event is over.

Not every page or public profile will have broadcast channels, however. Broadcast channels are optional tools for businesses and public profiles to use. At launch, broadcast channels required Facebook Pages to have at least 10,000 followers; meanwhile, Instagram broadcast channels aren’t yet available for every creator either.

How do you join a broadcast channel on Facebook or Instagram?

When a Page or public profile starts a broadcast channel, they can send out an invitation to all of their followers. Joining a broadcast channel from a notification is simple. On Facebook, tap on the notification and “join channel.” The channel will then pop up on your list of messages.

Without a notification, the process for joining a broadcast channel on Facebook is a little longer, but not impossible. From the mobile app, navigate to the page or profile. In the navigation bar that lists things like “posts” or “Reels,” tap on the “more” icon, then tap “Channels.” Under the desired channel, tap “see channel.” At the bottom of the channel screen, tap the button to join.

On Instagram, tap the notification, select the desired broadcast channel, and then tap join. If you did not receive a notification, navigate to your inbox. In the search bar of the messages screen, type the name of the page or profile that is hosting the broadcast channel. The search results will display broadcast channels with the same name. Or, you can tap on the page or profile name, tap “view channels,” and select the desired channel.

Are broadcast channels public?

Broadcast channels are public. Anyone can find and join a broadcast channel. Before joining, any user can see all the past messages inside the channel. That means the feature feels a little like a giant group message but shouldn’t be treated as such. On Facebook, broadcast channels are available for public Pages. On Instagram, the feature is available to certain creators and invited collaborators. Channel collaborators can have accounts set to private; however, all messages inside the broadcast channel are still public.

On Instagram, broadcast channel messages can also be shared with a link back to the channel inside Stories. This means that not only are all channel messages public, they can also be shared outside of the channel.

Why do I keep getting invited to broadcast channels?

When a creator launches a broadcast channel, invitations to that channel are automatically sent to all followers once the first message is posted. That means many users will start seeing frequent channel invitations as the new feature spreads.

How do I turn off broadcast channel invites?

While you won’t get broadcast channel messages unless you join the channel, you’ll receive invites to join channels whenever a Page or profile you follow launches a new channel. You can, however, turn off all of these invitations.

To turn off broadcast channel invitations on Instagram:

  1. Navigate to your settings — it’s inside the three-bar menu from your profile page
  2. Tap Notifications
  3. Tap Messages
  4. Scroll down to broadcast channel invites
  5. Tap off.

To turn off Facebook invitations, here’s the steps:

  1. Open Messenger
  2. Navigate to the settings by tapping the three-bar menu icon, then the gear icon
  3. Head to “notifications and sounds”
  4. Under “communities and channels,” use the toggle next to channel invitations to turn the invites off

How do I mute broadcast channel notifications?

It is possible to follow a broadcast channel without getting a notification every time a message is posted:

  1. From the Messenger mobile app, tap on the desired channel
  2. Tap the bell icon and tap the toggle next to “mute notifications”
  3. Select the time frame that you would like to mute the notifications for (You can also mute notifications from the Facebook app by tapping the channel name and then tapping mute)

To mute broadcast channel notifications on Instagram, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to the channel inside your inbox
  2. Tap the bell icon in the corner — a crossed-off bell means the notifications have been silenced, and a fully visible bell means they haven’t

With notifications turned off, you can still peruse the channel messages at your leisure; you just won’t get a notification for each message. If you want to remove the channel from your inbox or Messenger list entirely, you’ll need to leave the channel.

How to leave a broadcast channel

To leave a broadcast channel on Facebook or Messenger, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. From Messenger or the Facebook mobile app, tap on the channel from your chat list
  2. Next, tap the channel name at the very top of the channel feed
  3. Navigate to the privacy and support options
  4. Click on the option to leave the channel.

To leave a broadcast channel on Instagram:

  1. Navigate to your inbox
  2. Tap on the channel you want to leave
  3. Tap the name of the channel at the top
  4. Tap options
  5. Select “leave” from the drop-down menu.

In short, Facebook and Instagram broadcast channels are public messaging feeds that allow influencers and businesses to send messages to channel followers. While the feature can be helpful for staying up-to-date on your favorites, if you find the channel invitations annoying, you can turn off the invites in settings.

Where are broadcast channels available?

As a new feature, broadcast channels are not yet available in all countries. At launch, the feature is also limited to the mobile apps for Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger and is unavailable from a web browser. Similarly, creators need to reach a set of requirements before being allowed to create a broadcast channel of their own.

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