Those of us who believed that Instagram Stories could only get better have not really been disappointed. The feature, which was copied from Snapchat has been reinvented several times, and is now one of the most used tool on the photo-sharing app. Now, Instagram Stories is about to get even better with the launch of ‘Close Friends,’ a new feature that will let you share your stories with select group of friends. The tests actually commenced in June 2017, and was then referred to as ‘Favorite.’ However, not only has the test been successfully completed, the feature has now been renamed as ‘Close Friends.’
Close Friends will let you choose a group of your favorite friends from your lists of followers while shutting others out from accessing your shared stories. You and your select group of friends will be able to share more close and private stories within the Close Friends feature.
“Starting today, you can make a close friends list on Stories and share with just the people you’ve added. 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. With Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose,” said Instagram.
How to use Close Friends: simply open up the Stories camera and take either a video or photo. Once done, a new green circle with a white star will appear, simply tap, and you will be taken to the close friends list where you can add your favorite friends to your inner circle. Instagram will also suggest friends based on users you interact with regularly. Better still, you can use a search box to populate your list. Typically, according to Instagram’s product lead Robby Stein, people usually add a dozen friends to their lists during testing.
On completion of your lists of close friends, you will be able to share your private stories with those within the group by tapping the green circle anytime you take a photo or video for Stories. As soon as a photo or video is shared, your close friends will see a green ring around your story in the tray at the top of the feed indicating that a close friend has just shared something more private.
Instagram’s Close Friends is a bit different from Finstagram—friends never get notified that you have added them. Similarly, they will also not be notified when they are removed from the list.
Per The Verge, Stein explained that notifying friends when they are added or removed “…is a hard nut to crack, in part because social networks are dynamic.” As they always say in politics; there are no permanent friends or foes. Not sending notification to friends when they are being added or removed makes it quite easy especially when you consider the fact that people part ways after being friends for a while.