Instagram's "Close Friends" feature lets you be the real you

Instagram now lets you choose who can — and can’t — see your Stories

Instagram's "Close Friends" feature lets you be the real you

The app's new Close Friends feature makes it easier to restrict your Stories to a select group of people, so you don't have to worry about your boss, your parents, or random strangers having a look.

To create a Close Friends list, simply go to your profile and tap on "Close Friends" in the side menu.

Instagram first teased the feature, then called "favorites", a year ago in response to the growing popularity of "finstas", secondary, often secret, accounts that people use to share content within a smaller circle of friends.

However, it could lead to huge rows with other followers that find out they have been excluded. Only you can see this Close Friends list and no one can request to be added.

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Instagram Stories let you send disappearing messages to your friends, but until now, you had to send them to all your friends. You can also easily identify who considers you trustworthy by going to your Stories tray and looking for the people that have a green ring around their profile pictures.

Another way the game may be given away is if people have open conversations about photos they have received but have been hidden from other friends. However, it seems to apply only to Stories, not regular posts, for now. "You can share things that are maybe a bit less polished, less flawless, [and] daily moments from your life", said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer who covers social media marketing. This is why Facebook is beefing up its Groups feature, and why messaging apps are so popular.

Buckle up kids. Instagram is about to get even more cliquey. It starts rolling out to users Friday. The idea is people may feel more comfortable sharing some things with just close friends, rather than all followers.

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