Privacy continues to be an issue in a world increasingly reliant on the internet. This is particularly true with social media, with Facebook and Twitter playing prominent roles in politics and pop culture. Like their social media forefathers, Instagram has become entrenched as a medium for the millennial crowd, but the popularity of Finstagrams followed only by IRL friends presented a problem.
To address this, in the summer of 2017, IG beta tested a friends list, and now they've apparently finished that effort. On Friday, they released "Close Friends" in an effort to address this newfound concern with keeping some things away from the prying eyes of the web but still within reach of a small coterie of buds.
To use close friends, when you finish taking a video/snapping a photo for your story, you'll see a green circle with a white star in it. Tap that and you'll be brought to the close friends list where you can add contacts to this new inner circle. It's an IG VIP section (please don't ever say that out loud). Instagram will suggest friends to add based on how much you interact with people on the app, but you can also search for people to include.
When you're done, you'll be able to share to close friends by simply tapping the green circle (which is super tiny by the way). Your close friends will see that green ring around your story in the tray at the top of the feed.
In an effort to protect users from an incredulous acquaintance that thought you were a lot tighter than you are, no one will be notified they're in your close friends group, or if they've been removed. And you can't request to be added, either. If you're in someone's close friends group, you'll see the green rings when they post something just for their BFFs.
There have been similar attempts at private groups with FourSquare (remember them—I used to be the mayor of the Bagel Shop on Metropolitan, NBD) and even Instagram's corporate overlord, Facebook, but they've largely fizzled. We'll see whether this newest addition to the popular photo and video sharing app takes off, or if people prefer their old Finstagrams.