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How to Use Your Instagram Close Friends List

Have you ever wanted to share an Instagram Stories post with your IRL friends or just a few of your followers? Well, now you can with Instagram’s Close Friends list!

The Close Friends feature for Instagram Stories will allow you to handpick a group of friends or followers to share private Instagram Stories posts with.

Only the people in your Close Friends list will see your story, and it will be hidden from all your other followers.

This means you can be a lot more selective about who can watch certain Instagram Stories posts from your account!

Let’s take a closer look the Close Friends list feature and what it could mean for you and your business!

Instagram Launches New Close Friends List for Instagram Stories

The new Close Friends feature allows you to create a group of followers that you can privately share Instagram Stories posts with.

According to Instagram, they created the feature because the way we’re using Instagram is changing. With Instagram Stories, you can express yourself and your brand by sharing everyday moments, but as the Instagram community grows, you might want the option of keeping some stories private for you and your closest friends.

Close Friends List: Instagram Stories

The Close Friends list allows you to chose who can see certain stories, and you can add and remove followers from the list at any time (without them ever knowing).

And just like regular Instagram Stories posts, your story will be available to view for only 24 hours for your Close Friends list.

Once you’ve posted an Instagram story to your Close Friends list, your profile image will appear with a green circle around it, both on your Profile page (which only you can see) and in your Close Friends’ feed.

The green circle helps it stand out from the other pink circles that usually highlight an account has live Instagram Stories posts you haven’t seen yet.

Close Friends List: Green Circle

Any follower not included in your Instagram Stories Close Friends list won’t see your post at all!

Similarly, if someone has shared a private Instagram story with you, as part of their Close Friends list, the post should stand out from the others in your Instagram Stories feed thanks to the green circle. It will often appear at the very start of your feed too so you won’t miss it.

Close Friends List: Instagram Stories

The new Close Friends feature allows you to share more private moments than ever before, which could make Instagram Stories a lot more conversational between you and your IRL friends and followers!

How to Create a Close Friends List in Instagram Stories

Ready to share an Instagram Stories post with your closest followers? Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to your Profile page by tapping the profile icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Tap the three lines icon in the top right corner of your screen.

  • Tap Close Friends and then tap Add next to the names of people who you want to add to your Close Friends list. You can also tap Search to search for a friend.
  • Once you’ve finished adding people to your list, tap Done.

Remember: You can update your list and remove followers from the list at any time. Also, people won’t be notified when you add or remove them from your list.

How to Share an Instagram Story With Your Close Friends List

Let’s share your first Instagram story with your Close Friends list!

Start by going to your Home page, and tap the camera icon in the top left corner of your screen.

Close Friends List: Create Story

Just like any Instagram Stories post, you can take a photo, video or upload a photo from your phone’s media library by swiping up on the screen.

Add text, GIFs, Stickers or Polls as you would with any Instagram Stories post, and when you’re ready to share, tap Close Friends in the bottom left corner! Easy!

Close Friends List: Create Story

How Can You Use the Close Friends List on Instagram Stories for Your Business?

The Close Friends feature has only just been released worldwide, so it’s exciting to see how businesses are going to creatively use it!

For example, if you’re a brand that works closely with collaborators or influencers for Instagram campaigns, you may want to create a Close Friends lists for them. With all your collaborators in one list, you can easily share posts that would interest them from your Instagram account, while hiding the post from all other followers.

Close Friends List: Example

Similarly, if you’re in a coaching business, like a personal trainer, for example, having your clients all in one Close Friend list on Instagram Stories could make it easier to share exclusive information, tips or advice.

As a client (and part of your Close Friends list!) they’ll see your posts, but your followers that are not on the list, won’t even know it was posted.

Not sure where to start when it comes to using Instagram Stories for your business? Don’t worry!

We have you covered with a free Instagram Stories for Business video course that offers tips, tricks and easy-to-action advice for creating an Instagram Stories strategy for your business!


Message Your Close Friends List with the Instagram Threads App

Instagram’s new standalone messaging app, Threads is another way to quickly get in touch with those closest to you — and it comes with some added perks and features!

According to Instagram’s announcement, the app was designed to help you stay connected with your closest friends and includes several appealing features, like the ability to create “statuses” and let your friends know what you’re up to. 

If you like Instagram’s Close Friends feature, you’ll definitely love Threads — especially if your messaging style is photo first, text later!

When you open the app, you’re immediately met with a camera view that “allows you to add shortcuts, so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps.”

instagram threads app

And Threads is completely connected to the Close Friends list you created in the Instagram app — you’ll have a dedicated inbox and notifications just for them.

Note: If you don’t have a list set up yet, you can make one directly from Threads when you download the app.

instagram threads app

Messages from your Close Friends list will also appear in both Threads and Instagram Direct, so you have full control over how and with whom you want to interact with.

instagram threads app

Plus you can add a special status like ???? Studying, choose to create your own (???? Procrastinating), or turn on Auto Status  (???? On the move), which automatically shares little bits of context on where you are without giving away your coordinates. 

With Instagram’s Close Friends list and dedicated app Threads, there are new ways to communicate with your real-life friends and closest followers.

And for brands and businesses, it offers a level of exclusivity and real behind-the-scenes moments that Instagram Stories never had before!

Let us know how you plan on using the Close Friends list for your Instagram Stories posts or the Threads app in the comments below!

Want to be the first to know about Instagram’s latest launches and feature releases? Sign up to Later’s newsletter and join +2 million other people using Later to grow their business online!


Written By

Nikki Canning

Nikki is Later’s Editorial Manager. She’s worked in digital media in Dublin, London, and Sydney and loves nothing more than hitting “publish” on a new post. When she’s not writing blogs with the Later team, you’ll find her outdoors with her dog, Arlie, or planning her next adventure — follow along on @nikkitravelled.

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