Today I’m going to do a deep dive into Instagram’s “Close Friends” feature based on a @verge interview of @Robby. Robby Stein is Product Manager at Instagram in charge of the consumer product team across Stories, Feed, Messaging, Camera, and Profile (OMG that’s so much!!) This is really important if:

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ผ You want to keep your work and personal friends separate.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง You want to keep your family photos and videos private.

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ Any other reason for keeping certain personal posts hidden from the majority of your followers.

Here’s how the “Close Friends” feature works. When you post something to your story, you have the option of making that story available to everyone – or just your close friends. Your close friends will see a green circle around the post, alerting them that they’re in the “Close Friends” group. You can add and remove people from that group as you want, but no one can request to be in your Close Friends group. There’s no limit on the number of Close Friends you can have, and it’s definitely the best way to have a Public account but still keep some content hidden on an as-needed basis.

Here’s what @Robby said about the Close Stories feature.

“Close Friends came about by talking to people and learning from users what they were hoping to to add to their story and when they weren’t going to post to their story – why? And the number one thing that came up was there are just some things that just aren’t meant for everyone and there wasn’t a great place to put that on Instagram. So we started developing an idea that let you select a list of people that you did feel comfortable sharing more with and became the Close Friends product that it is today.”

๐Ÿ”Š I’ll be discussing this on my show today in detail (say “Alexa, enable the Instagram Stories”, then “Alexa, tell me the news” to hear it. If you don’t have an Echo, you can download the Alexa app), and for the rest of the week.

How do you use the Close Friends feature? Do you use it to keep some things private?