Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ Feature for Stories Emphasizes Private Sharing



A latest attempt to make Instagram a default place for private sharing, the platform launched “Close Friends,” allowing users to post Stories to a closed group of their choosing.

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Had you recently noticed a green ring, instead of a pink one, around your Instagram friends’ Stories updates? Last Friday, Instagram announced yet another update for Stories, named “Close Friends,” which allows users to share Stories with a specific closed group of people of their choosing.

To add people to your close friends’ list, just go to your profile and tap on “Close Friends.” Once done, when you pose Stories, you can choose to post them either to all followers or just this specific friends group only. Nobody other than you can see your close friends list. They also cannot request to be added.

Instagram’s move is evidence of the trend that many other social media brands are following — investing in more private and personal conversations. Stats show that 85 percent of the messages shared on Instagram are distributed to the same three friends, according to Social Media Today. This further proves that users value Instagram for its function of private sharing.

On its announcement blog post, Instagram says that it hopes to make the platform a more comfortable place for the community.

“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.”

In addition, The Verge reported back in June 2017, that Instagram had been experimenting with a potential new feature named “Friends Lists,” which, similarly, would allow users to share posts with a limited group of friends.

So what does this mean for marketers? If the same model would be available for business accounts, this feature can be a great tool for brands to share customized content to specific groups of audiences or groups that the brand expect could generate more profit.

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