Meta-owned social media giant Instagram is taking a significant step towards enhancing user privacy and fostering intimate connections by expanding its Close Friends feature to include both posts and Reels.
This update, announced on Tuesday, allows users to share more personal content exclusively with a select group of friends, creating a more private and tailored sharing experience.
Instagram rolls out expanded Close Friends feature to foster personalized sharing
Initially introduced in 2018, the Close Friends feature allowed users to share Stories with a limited group of up to 100 people. This feature quickly gained traction as a way for users to create a more intimate space within the broader social media landscape. Now, Instagram is building on this success by extending this capability to regular feed posts and Reels.
Content shared exclusively with Close Friends will be easily identifiable by a green star icon, clearly indicating that the post or Reel is intended for a select audience. This visual cue adds a layer of privacy and intimacy to the content, emphasizing its exclusivity.
To utilize this new feature, users simply need to select the Audience option when preparing to share a post or Reel. From there, they can choose the Close Friends option and proceed to share their content. This ensures that only those selected users will have access to the shared photo, video, or Reel.
With the expanded Close Friends feature, Instagram is catering to users seeking a more private and discreet sharing experience, similar to the popular “finstas” where individuals could share content away from the eyes of their entire follower list. This update is a strategic move to foster a sense of community among Close Friends, making the platform feel more exclusive and intimate.
Instagram’s expansion of its Close Friends feature is a strategic move that aligns with the platform’s growing focus on providing users with intimate, enclosed group interactions. This trend is evident in the increasing popularity of private sharing across social media, where users are opting for smaller, trusted circles over public posting.
As Instagram continues to roll out updates, including the Close Friends expansion, it is working towards enhancing user experience. Additional features, such as the ability to have more control over the audience for posts, are also in testing.