What just happened? Instagram’s Close Groups is the direct result of a feature the company started testing roughly 18 months ago called favorites. It was inspired by user-based “Finstagrams,” or fake Instagram accounts. Without an official way to share with close friends, users started creating fake Instagram accounts to accomplish that goal.
Instagram on Friday launched a new feature that allows users to share certain content with a select group of friends.
The idea behind Close Friends is that sometimes, you want to share more personal moments with a smaller group of people – unflattering pictures, drunken selfies from a party, inside jokes or random stories about your day. In other words, real life – not the highly curated, fake perception of the perfect life that most people share.
To create a Close Friends list, simply go to your profile and tap on “Close Friends” in the side menu. Only you can see who is on the list and others can’t request to be added. When it comes time to share to Stories, you’ll have the option to share as usual or just with your close friends. Users can determine if someone has added them to a list by looking for a green ring around their profile photo and a green badge when viewing their Stories.
Close Friends is a curious move for Instagram. It could increase time spent on the app although it’s just as easy to argue that it could cannibalize the time users dedicate to their public feed. And when you take a step back, it highlights just how silly the whole social media craze is and the lengths that people will go to for attention.
Instagram’s Close Friends feature is rolling out globally today for Android and iOS.
Lead image courtesy PixieMe, Shutterstock