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Instagram Explores More Personal Sharing, 'Close Friends' Feed Feature

Instagram listens: Testing 'Close Friends' sharing to combat the impersonal algorithmic feed
By Josefina Dipaolo
September 11, 2023

Instagram, the beloved social network known for its visual appeal, has been grappling with user complaints about the impersonal touch of its algorithmic feed for some time. In response, the company is taking steps to create a more intimate and personalized experience for its users. In the latest development, Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows you to share feed posts exclusively with your "Close Friends" circle. This move aims to foster deeper connections among users and alleviate the need for multiple accounts. In recent days, tech enthusiasts and Instagram aficionados, including ICYMI newsletter Lia Haberman, have noticed this intriguing addition.

Instagram's endeavor to make its platform more personal and engaging has culminated in the testing of a feature that permits users to selectively share feed posts with their closest contacts. While the company has yet to reveal the specific countries where this feature is being trialed, a statement from a Meta spokesperson suggests their commitment to enhancing user expression and connection on the platform.

Should this feature be rolled out globally, it has the potential to diminish the necessity of maintaining "finsta" accounts—alternate profiles used solely for close friends. Instagram initially ventured into the realm of private sharing in 2018 with the introduction of the "Close Friends" feature for Stories. Subsequently, they delved into the concept of group chatting within Instagram's "Close Friends" circle through an app named Threads in 2019. However, Threads was discontinued in 2021 to refocus efforts on refining the direct messaging experience.

Notably, last December, Instagram unveiled "Notes," a feature enabling users to share text updates with their friends. Over the past few months, the company has introduced additional features such as music sharing, translation capabilities, and location sharing within the Notes feature. These incremental changes demonstrate Instagram's commitment to enriching the user experience and facilitating more meaningful connections.

Instagram's ongoing efforts to humanize its platform and foster genuine connections among users have culminated in the testing of the 'Close Friends' feed feature. By allowing users to curate their feed for a select audience, Instagram aims to create a more intimate and personalized social networking experience. If successful, this feature could potentially reduce the need for secondary "finsta" accounts, streamlining the user experience and reinforcing Instagram's position as a go-to platform for authentic connection in the digital age.

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