Throughout the years, Meta has been « inspired » by various competitors to launch identical features – some later dying unceremonious deaths, others going on to become much more popular than the original (just think Stories).
Today is another day like that. Meta’s Telegram-inspired broadcast channels, previously seen in Instagram and WhatsApp, are spreading to Facebook and Facebook Messenger « in the coming weeks ». People who manage Facebook Pages can start broadcast channels « as a way to engage more deeply with their followers », the company says.
A broadcast channel is basically a « one-to-many » messaging tool. It’s best used by public figures, celebrities, and online « creators » to try and monetize some more moneys out of their fans, directly or indirectly. In return, those fans get to « feel even more connected and dive deeper on the things that matter most to them », whatever that means.
Anyone will be able to join a broadcast channel to get access to exciting stuff like polls, « behind the scenes photos or videos », or voice notes « for more authentic expression ». Or none of the above, it’s all up to the Page admin of course.
If you are the type of person who manages a Facebook Page and want access to broadcast channels, you can start one directly from your Page – if you are in a market where broadcast channels are currently available. If not, there’s a waitlist you can join.
When you send the first message in a broadcast channel, all of the followers of your Page will be spammed and asked to join your new channel. Only you can send messages, but the plebs can (fortunately or not) react and vote in polls.
On the other side, if you join a broadcast channel, you’ll get notification spam every single time there’s a new post. Thankfully, the mute function works for these too. Note that broadcast channels are, as Meta calls them, « public and discoverable chat experiences », even though you may interact with them in Facebook Messenger where otherwise you only talk to your friends.