Meta To Deploy Broadcast Channels For Facebook, Messenger

Meta Platforms continues to enhance the ability of its social media platforms to spread or broadcast information.

Meta announced on Wednesday that “broadcast channels are coming to Facebook and Messenger in the coming weeks.”

It comes after Meta in June this year offered WhatsApp Channels, which offers creators and organisations the ability to ‘broadcast’ content to wide audience of followers via the popular messaging app. The feature is also available on Instagram.

Broadcast channels

Now broadcast channels coming to Facebook and Messenger in the coming weeks.

Meta said that people who manage Facebook Pages can “start broadcast channels as a way to engage more deeply with their followers.”

“Anyone can join broadcast channels to stay up to date on the latest from their favourite Pages and dive deeper into the topics that matter most to them,” said Meta.

Meta believes that broadcast channels give a place for followers to “feel even more connected and dive deeper on the things that matter most to them.”

Meta said that admins of Pages can use broadcast channel features like polls to get instant feedback from their community, send behind the scenes photos or videos, and use voice notes for more authentic expression.

Once a broadcast channel is created and the first message is sent, followers of that Page will receive a one-time notification to join the channel.

Only the creator of the channel can send messages, but members of the broadcast channel can react to messages and vote in polls.

Meta pointed to broadcast channels on Facebook and Messenger that users can join now, such as

  • Netflix
  • WWE
  • League of Legends
  • International Cricket Council

Misinformation, propaganda

But some may question the wisdom of launching another way for social media to spread information – amid current intentional tensions.

For example Telegram’s broadcast channels have assumed a leading role after the terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel.

Hamas uses its Telegram broadcast channels as the primary means to communicate with the outside world.

And regulators are getting increasingly concerned.

The European Union recently sent a letter to Twitter’s owner Elon Musk, warning about the level of disinformation about the Hamas attack on Israel on his platform.

This was followed up by letters to Meta, YouTube, TikTok and others.

Last month European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova urged big name tech platforms to do more to combat Russian disinformation campaigns ahead of elections in Europe.

The EU’s Jourova specifically listed Twitter as being the largest spreader of Russian lies and propaganda, out of all large social media platforms.

Facebook was the second worst offender.

Meta in its announcement said that broadcast channels are “subject to Facebook’s and Messenger’s Community Standards so people can feel safe being part of them. People can report both a broadcast channel itself or specific content shared in the channel, which can be removed if it goes against our policies.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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