If you recently updated Instagram you might have noticed that a brand new feature has just launched. Say hello to “Close Friends” and find out more about this exciting new addition below.
Have you ever hesitated to post something out of fear that your parents might not like it or that it could impact your professional life? It might seem strange to imagine a world where social media isn’t exclusively reserved for friends but, these days, it’s not uncommon for people to connect with their employers, colleagues, and even members of the local community on platforms like Instagram. That’s where “Close Friends” comes in, giving you greater freedom to choose who you share content with.
What is Close Friends?
Close Friends is a new feature exclusive to Instagram Stories that allows you to create a list of friends you consider yourself close with and grant them special viewing permissions. Once you’ve created this list you can choose whether or not to share a Story with your entire follower list or just your Close Friends. If you select Close Friends, only the people in this list will see your Story and it will be hidden from all your other followers.
How do I Create a Close Friends List?
To create your Close Friends list, navigate to your profile page and then tap the burger menu icon (the button with three lines) in the top right corner of your screen. This will open a menu with several different choices; tap the Close Friends option. From here you will be able to search your Instagram followers and select who you would like to add to your the list. You can change who is on this list any time.
Once you have created your Close Friends list, simply open Stories like you normally would, take a picture or video, and tap the Close Friends icon in the bottom left hand corner to share it with this list only. When you post a Story to your Close Friends, they’ll see a green ring around your profile photo in the Stories tray whilst Stories posted to all followers appear with a pink ring.
Why Use Close Friends?
Instagram began testing the feature when they noticed that users were calling out for more control over their audiences. In practical terms, this will allow users to share content they may have thought twice about posting before. Need to vent after a stressful day at work? Feel like sharing a couple of pictures from a particularly messy night out? Now you can be sure only the people you’re comfortable with seeing these Stories can access them.
From a marketing perspective, Close Friends will give businesses and brands a unique opportunity to target content to particular users, offering a greater level of personalisation across Instagram Stories. The feature could be used to curate a list of VIP users or paid subscribers, giving them access to exclusive content such as first-looks at new products as well as discounts and sales. Close Friends could also allow brands to nurture working relationships by allowing them to create a higher volume of content targeted specifically towards partners or influencers without alienating their primary audience of consumers.
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