Instagram Close Friends feature provides official alternative to ‘Finstagrams’

Instagram Close Friends is a new feature that allows users to share their more personal Stories with just a select few friends. The feature has been in testing for almost 18 months, and is rolling out to everyone worldwide today on iOS and Android.

The company appears to be responding to the ‘Finstagram’ trend among teenage users …

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Teen girls in particular have been creating fake Instagram accounts – or ‘Finstagrams’ – to ensure their most sensitive content is shared only with those closest to them. By allowing users to restrict certain Stories to a select circle of friends, Instagram is hoping that fake accounts won’t be needed.

Starting today, you can make a close friends list on Stories and share with just the people you’ve added. Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown and sometimes what you want to share isn’t for everyone. With Instagram Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose.

To add people to your list, go to your profile and tap on “Close Friends” in the side menu. Only you can see your close friends list and no one can request to be added, so you can feel comfortable adjusting it at any time. When you share to Stories, you’ll see the option to share with just the people on your close friends list. If someone has added you to their list, you will see a green badge when you’re viewing their stories. You’ll also see a green ring around their profile photo in the Stories tray.

Instagram Close Friends follows an update a couple of days ago designed to make life easier for visually-impaired users, and a cleaner, simpler profile design last week.

It’s not the first step the company has taken to deal with fake accounts: Instagram recently started deleting “inauthentic likes, follows and comments.”

Instagram is a free download from the App Store.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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