Instagram is testing a new way to share posts with a limited group of friends. Called favorites or close friends, the feature tries to update the earlier social network encouraging people to post more often by giving them more control over their followers.
If it rolls out entirely, the feature could turn Instagram into the default platform to share for more groups of friends and change the social dynamics of Instagram in the process.
Before Instagram began testing favorites, some users tried to create versions of it themselves. They built so-called “Finstagram”_private accounts followed only a handful of their close friends, or they posted photos and then deleted them after their close friends had liked them.
Each of these programs had imperfections of its own. Due to social media pressures, the number of followers of a private account often grew into the hundreds. People with individual Instagram accounts usually end up using Instagram less as a result
“People are trying to hack Instagram to create smaller audiences, and we’re trying to recognize that,”
– Robby Stein, product lead at Instagram
How to use the new favorite tool on Instagram?
Only a limited group of accounts currently have access to this new feature. If you have it, you will see a green star icon on your Instagram profile.
1- Tap the green star icon on your profile
2- choose which friends get to be part of your favorite list
3- When you use Instagram Stories, or while scrolling through your feed, you will see a green section with a star and “Favorites” on the bottom of your screen.
4- Tap that button, and the post will instantly share with your pre-selected groups of friends.
How does it work?
You can add or remove people from your Favorites list at any time, so if someone gets on your wrong side, you can change their state. But you have to be smart about it because people can tell when they are on and off your Favorites list on Instagram. If you can’t see the green “Favorites” star on that user’s Story or post, you didn’t make it. And here we were expecting cliques ended after graduating high school.
However, as cliquey as it might seem, Favorites could be very useful for public accounts and users with a large following. While they might not want to share everything with all of their followers (or have to run two accounts to divide their posts from public and personal), the opportunity of sending a private post to their IRL friends or family members on Instagram could be more appealing for them.
While Favorites feature hasn’t rolled out to the world, Instagram has a great history of shifting its trial features into permanent ones. It recently did this with its Archive feature.