In June 2017, Instagram announced that it had started to test a feature, then it was called "favorites", which is an attempt to reset the friend's list and encourage people to share more by giving them to a more limited group of & # 39; followers. In response to the progress of "Finstagrams" – private accounts followed only by nearest friends – the company was trying to provide more private consumer tools with a series of features that touched almost every part of & # 39; r app.
Almost 18 months later, turning Instagram on private sharing has arrived, and looks very different than it did in 2017. Now it's called "close friends", the feature limited to Stories. And although it's been graded back from earlier incarnation, close friends could reconstruct social dynamics on Instagram.
To use the new feature, open the Storytelling camera and take a picture or video. After you've finished your shot, you'll see a new green circle with a white star in it. Tap it, and you'll bring the list of close friends where you can add people to your inner circle. Instagram will suggest you friends based on the people you interact with most, or you can use a search box to finish your list. In testing, people usually add about two dozen people, says product leader in Instagram, Robby Stein.
When your list has finished, you'll be able to share your close friends by tapping the green circle whenever you catch a picture or video for Stories. (My feedback to the product: this button is very small and it would be of great benefit to expand it.) After doing so, your close friends will see a green circle around your story in the tray at the top of the feed. It's a visual sign that a close friend has shared something more privately with you, and it should stand out of the standard pink-purple gradient rings.
Your friends will never be informed that you have added them to your list, or removed from you. Unlike Finstagram, people can not ask to join their circle of close friends. If they are on your list, they will see the green rings when you posted to your close friends; if they are not they will not. But you will still hold "an unlikely deniability," said Stein, as most people will assume you have not posted anything to their close friends group.
List of friends is not a new idea – and on most social networks, they have not succeeded. As I wrote in 2017:
Foursquare co-founder, Dennis Crowley, told me the years ago that a major user application has been an option to make a check visible only to a small group of friends. Foursquare built the feature, Crowley told me, but there was little use of it.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has its own friend's lists. But their implementation has always been somewhat tight, and they seem to be used quite. Twitter lists are different because they are public, and the company has not made them improvements in several years.
"This is hardcore to crack, partly because social networks are dynamic," said Stein. People may be a close friend of one day and disappear from you over time. For Instagram, that meant that adding and removing people to the list would have to be as painless as possible. The company hopes that it will succeed in giving people to share with smaller groups by breaking the list of all notices outside the green circle.
And I suspect that the close friends of the only people will not use "close friends". It's easy to imagine brands that create bird clubs or VIP lists where people can choose to get extra jobs. Instagram has not built any special tools to let publishers control these lists, but wonder if time brands do not emphasize the company and let them use the friend's list close to business purposes.
In the meantime, I'm glad that close friends have arrived from the end. As more people move from Facebook to Instagram, the app has started to face the same problem in reducing the context of its main company. When you post photos at the same time as your best friend, your ex-girlfriend, your colleagues, and the person you once again met in a wedding, over time you are likely to share less and less. That is why I find the in-app notification of the number of people who have seen my incredible Instagram Stories to be as consistent as possible. The vast majority of those people never interact with stories, allowing me to have a constant impression that I'm eradicated.
For Instagram to continue to thrive, it must remember where genuine friends stay in touch. Close friends are a welcome step to that address.