Instagram now allows users to share their Stories to a select group of people. The feature looks to be an evolution of the then-called "favorites" functionality.
This new feature is an attempt to reinvent the friends' list and encourage people to share more content by letting them post to a more limited chunk of their followers.
However, this proved to be insufficient, so much so that the so-called Finstagrams — private accounts where the followers are only the user's closest crop of friends — gained popularity. The new feature, aptly called "Close Friends," is a much-needed and inevitable response to Finstagrams, giving people more flexibility with regard to whom they share their content with.
For now, the feature will only be limited to Stories, although it's easy to see Instagram implementing the same system to regular posts as well. The company hasn't disclosed any details about future plans, especially regarding this matter, however.
How To Share Instagram Stories To 'Close Friends' Only
To use the feature, simply open up the Stories camera and take a photo or video. Afterward, a new circle with a white star in it will appear. Tap this to open the Close Friends list, which lets users add people to an inner circle.
Instagram will also make suggestions based on the people a user interacts with most, but there is also a much more convenient search box for that job. It is not clear exactly how many people can be added to a list. However, the Verge reports that according to Robby Stein, Instagram's product lead, most people added around two dozen people in testing.
A Few Things To Remember About Close Friends On Instagram
Stories shared to close friends will have a special green ring around them to indicate that they were shared privately, standing out from the app's typical pink and purple gradient aesthetic. Friends are also never alerted if they are added to or removed from someone's list, and they cannot request to be part of a list as well.
"Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown and sometimes what you want to share isn't for everyone," Instagram wrote in a blog post. "With Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose."
Close Friends are now available in the latest version of Instagram both for Android or iOS.
Thoughts about the new feature? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!