Instagram introduced a significant update to all users. The social media platform expanded its Close Friends feature – meaning users can now share main feed posts and reels to a curated list of followers.
Instagram users can tap on an “audience” menu before sharing a post or a reel. They can then select their Close Friends list from there. The post will appear to their selection of followers and will feature a green star icon, similar to how Close Friends Stories appeared.
Users can curate a single list of Close Friends. For anyone who has been using the feature in their Stories, the list remains unchanged. No one can request to be added to the list. Whenever a user posts a Close Friends post or reel, those added to the list can view who has interacted with that post.
Before the update, Instagram users only had the option to make their accounts public or private and couldn’t tweak who viewed their posts.
The feature was tested in September, according to TechCrunch. The launch comes as X, formerly known as Twitter, discontinued its Circles feature, which allowed users to share posts with a curated audience.
Meta is hoping the feature will help users connect more authentically. Users have criticized Instagram for not seeing their friends’ posts and for pushing highly curated feeds in recent months. It may have contributed to the successes of other social media platforms such as TikTok and Bereal.
“We know our community already uses Close Friends as a pressure-free space to connect with the people that matter most,” Instagram said in a statement. “We hope this opens up more ways to be your most authentic self on Instagram while having more choices over who sees your content.”
The Close Friends feature was launched to users’ Stories in 2018. The news comes a week after Instagram started testing another feature allowing users to disable read receipts in their direct messages.
“We heard your feedback and have started testing a new feature that lets you turn read receipts off in your DMs,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said. “Soon, people will be able to choose when to let others see when they’ve read their messages.”