You no longer have to expose your Instagram Stories to every single follower. A new feature, which goes live today after 17 months of testing, lets users share only with their closest friends.
Here’s how the Close Friends list works on iOS.
We all have followers on social networks, like a boss, a colleague, or a family member, who we’d rather not share certain things with. So, it’s just easier to not bother sharing some things altogether.
“You’re basically curating for the largest possible distribution,” explains Instagram director of product Robby Stein. “To really be yourself and connect and be connected to your best friends, you need your own place.”
That’s where the Close Friends list comes in.
Instagram’s new Close Friends list
Instagram now lets you decide who your closest friends are add add them to their very own list. When you share a Story, you can then decide whether you want all your followers to see it, or only those who are on your Close Friends list.
Close Friends will see a green circle around your Story that indicates it has been shared only with a select few. But they won’t know when you’ve selected them as a Close Friend, or if you decide to remove them from your list later.
There are no screenshot alerts for Close Friends Stories, like there are for regular Stories, but you cannot share them in a DM with anyone else.
Instagram’s answer to Snapchat Groups
Snapchat, the biggest rival to Instagram Stories, has introduced similar functionality with Groups. Rather than having just one list, you can create several — each with a different group of friends — but they’re mostly designed around chat.
“We’re protecting you and your right to share or not share to certain people,” Stein told TechCrunch. “It gives you air cover.”
Instagram’s Close Friends feature is rolling out on Android and iOS over the next two days, so if you don’t see it already, it should pop up on your device soon.