Instagram is enhancing its Close Friends feature to allow users to share not only stories but also main feed posts and reels exclusively with a select group of individuals. Prior to posting, users can access the “audience” menu, choosing their Close Friends list for the exclusive sharing. Posts shared with Close Friends will be distinguished by a green star icon, mirroring the visual cue for Close Friends stories, which feature a green ring.
The consistency of the Close Friends list is maintained across all post types, including stories, reels, feed posts, or notes. Replies to stories function as private direct messages to the poster, maintaining privacy. However, likes or comments on Close Friends’ main feed posts or reels are visible to others within the Close Friends circle.
Although this feature was observed during testing in September, it is now officially rolling out. The expansion comes at an opportune time, especially with the discontinuation of X’s Close Friends-like Circles feature. Instagram aims to cater to users’ growing interest in authenticity online, particularly with the rise of social apps like BeReal.
Instagram expressed in its announcement, “We know our community already uses Close Friends as a pressure-free space to connect with the people that matter most. We hope this opens up more ways to be your most authentic self on Instagram while having more choices over who sees your content.”
For creators, the expanded Close Friends feature introduces a potential revenue stream. While some creators already use third-party apps to sell subscriptions for Close Friends stories, the new capability allows them to monetize exclusive Instagram content beyond ephemeral Close Friends stories.