While Instagram actually started rolling this out with selected users back in September, it’s now officially announced that all users will be able to share feed posts and Reels with a selected group of people that they’ve added to their “Close Friends” list.
As you can see in this example, you’ll now be able to change the audience for your feed updates to “Close Friends”, providing another way to facilitate more intimate connection and engagement in the app.
Instagram initially added “Close Friends” for Stories back in 2018, which enables you to create a list of up to 100 people into a more contained group, as opposed to public posting.
It’s since added Notes and Reels into the content mix, providing another enclosed group engagement option, though apparently not all users have had the capacity to share these with their private groups.
IG says that all users will get the ability to post to “Close Friends” in Reels from today.
It’s the latest in Instagram’s evolving efforts to lean into more enclosed, intimate group sharing, as more people shy away from public posting in the app.
As explained by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri last year:
“Friends now post a lot more to stories, and send a lot more DMs, than they post to Feed.”
That shift, which is also evident in other social apps, has seen a bigger emphasis on messaging and group engagement options, with each platform now looking to facilitate more enclosed interaction, in order to keep users sharing to their apps.
It’s also been exacerbated by the rise of AI-recommended content in user feeds, which leaves less room for updates from friends and family. And given that both Facebook and IG are seeing significant increases in usage as a result of showing you more video content, it makes sense for them to move in this direction, and align with this broader shift.
New “Close Friends” options are another part of this, and it’ll be interesting to see if Instagram users adopt these new updates, and start posting into more enclosed groups.