In an ongoing effort to align with evolving user behaviours and preferences, Instagram has recently unveiled a new feature that allows users to share feed posts exclusively with their “Close Friends.” This development signifies another stride towards enhancing enclosed group engagement on the platform.
As seen in a recent post by influencer marketing expert Lia Haberman, Instagram users are beginning to notice a novel ‘Audience’ selector option within the post-composer flow. This feature empowers them to share their feed posts solely with their designated ‘Close Friends’ circle, as opposed to the traditional method of posting to their profile.
This expansion of the ‘Close Friends’ option, initially introduced for Stories in 2018, demonstrates Instagram’s commitment to providing more exclusive sharing experiences. Since its inception, the ‘Close Friends’ feature has been extended to include Notes and Reels, yet, it was not available for regular feed posts until now.
Instagram has previously experimented with various forms of private sharing, offering options to share posts with selected users or switching one’s profile to private to restrict post visibility. However, this new feature streamlines the process, allowing users to decide on a post-by-post basis who can view their content.
It’s essential to note that the selections made on Instagram do not impact Facebook audience settings when cross-posting, preserving users’ privacy preferences across platforms.
This update reflects a broader trend in the social media landscape, where there is a growing preference for private group engagement over public posting. Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, has emphasized that users now share a significant portion of content through direct messages (DMs) compared to traditional feed posts or Stories. To cater to this trend, Instagram has been actively introducing features such as collaborative posts, post collections in chats, and Notes, among others.
Enabling users to share feed posts exclusively with their ‘Close Friends’ is a small but significant step along this trajectory. It encourages users to share content more frequently, knowing that only a select group of trusted individuals will see their updates.
While this feature may not represent a significant overhaul of Instagram’s functionality, it provides an additional option to foster more private group discussions. It allows Instagram to stay in tune with the evolving behavioural trends of its user base.
Instagram’s introduction of the ‘Close Friends’ option for feed posts aligns with the platform’s mission to adapt to changing user preferences. By offering a more tailored and private sharing experience, Instagram aims to keep users engaged and comfortable in their digital communities. This feature is a testament to the platform’s commitment to facilitating meaningful connections and conversations in an ever-evolving social media landscape.