Keep Your Followers Close, But Your “Close Friends” Closer
By: Jessica Gaylord
You know those weekend Instagram Stories that maybe aren’t meant for your supervisor or mom to see? Well, Instagram felt your pain and recently announced the globally launch of Close Friends—the newest feature that lets you build a single private list of your best friends on Instagram and then shares Stories only with them. Members of your Close Friends will see a green circle around your profile pictures to indicate it’s not a public-facing story.
Ultimately, Instagram wants to encourage people to share more and Close Friends is most likely an answer to a growing problem—"finstagrams,” (also known as just “finstas”) or secondary private Instagram profiles that teenagers and college-aged users rely on. The confines, standards and prying eyes that come with a traditional Instagram account aren’t an issue with finstas, because only your closest friends see your silly, vulnerable posts.
Knowing that only pre-screened friends will see a potential story, Instagram is betting people will be more willing to share personal, unfiltered content on its Stories platform through Close Friends. The security of a completely different secret account might be too much for some users to give up, but the convenience that Close Friends brings is a strong motivator.