Instagram has launched a new test that will enable people to select specific profiles that will be able to view their Stories, as part of an additional element in the Stories creation flow of every post.
As you can see in these screenshots, ‘Selected People’, which is being tested in Brazil, will enable users to tick the specific users that they want to allow to view each of their Stories updates.
It’s essentially an alternate version of Instagram’s current ‘Close Friends’ option, which enables users to make a list of their key contacts for Stories sharing, with this new variation providing more specific capacity with each update, offering more control, but also more work in defining your specific audience each time.
As Instagram explained to 9 to 5 Mac:
“Before, with the ‘Close Friends’ feature, people could only share Stories with the same list of friends without being able to edit it. With this test, you’ll be able to add, remove, or keep people on your list with different Stories.”
More capacity to control who sees your posts could be helpful, while Instagram also notes that your Selected People listing will remain in place until you edit it again. Which means it’s almost exactly like the current ‘Close Friends’ option, but with the extra capacity to easily change it every time you post.
That seems like an under-the-radar helpful addition, which may seem like only a minor update, but could provide a significant improvement in posting capacity, helping to facilitate more intimate, private Stories sharing, without broadcasting to everyone with each post.
It could also open up a new form of specific Stories sharing to only a couple of friends at a time. Of course, you can also use Instagram Direct for this type of interaction, but the option to share full-screen, regular Stories, that only appear to certain users, could hold specific value, which could be a fun engagement option.
And for brands, it could also offer new capacity, like announcing competition winners, and offering exclusive deals to very specific audiences. Again, you can use close friends already to reach certain groups, but choosing just one person, or smaller groups of people, each time that you post, could facilitate new ways to maximize brand engagement, and fuel more connection with fans.
It seems, overall, like a good addition – right now, Instagram is only testing it in Brazil, though it looks like it should get a full launch soon.