Instagram users have mixed feelings about update to Close Friends feature

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Instagram users now have the option to upload posts and reels for their Close Friends list only. However, students and alumni at BYU explained they have mixed feelings about using it. (Photo Courtesy of Instagram)

Instagram recently released an update that allows users to upload posts and reels exclusively for their Close Friends list.

In 2018, Instagram introduced the Close Friends feature so users could post stories viewable only by a self-selected list of followers.

Now, users can share posts and reels directly to their Close Friends. Before uploading a post, users can select the “audience” menu and narrow the audience to Close Friends only. Similar to Close Friends stories, posts will have a green star icon.

When a user uploads a reel or post for their Close Friends, viewers can comment. Others in the Close Friends circle will be able to see all of these comments.

Users said there are several reasons why people post stories for their Close Friends.

“I post on my Close Friends because I believe it really is an opportunity for me to be myself and post that vulnerable side of me,” student Ty Pasa said.

His Close Friends posts include family things, funny and stupid jokes and reposts of memes, he said.

BYU alumna Naomi Campbell said her Close Friends list consists of friends she feels “actually close to” and people she wants to see her “funny side.”

“It’s usually people that I think won’t judge me for stuff like weird TikToks or swearing,” she said.

Additionally, Campbell said she wants people to comment, swipe up and interact with what she posts for her Close Friends. When creating her Close Friends list, she said she considers those things.

Melina Anderson is a BYU alum and mother of a toddler. Lots of her stories for her Close Friends include photos and videos of her toddler. Anderson said she wants to respect her daughter’s privacy and will post more photos and videos of her for her Close Friends.

“I include my family and closer friends a lot because I know they care about my life and my daughter,” she said.

Both Campbell and Pasa shared that they have a “finsta,” which is a separate Instagram profile users create specifically for closer friends and/or family.

“I have a finsta because I think I’m really funny, and I want an outlet where I can be unhinged, brutally honest and humorous,” Campbell said. “A lot of the posts are very specific and personal, and I don’t want those on my normal Insta because I want to maintain a specific narrative on my Insta, like a lot of people.”

Stories, posts and reels for Close Friends include a green button to indicate only users’ selected followers can view them. Due to many users having already created a “finsta,” they say they may not make posts for their Close Friends. (Photo Courtesy of Instagram)

She wants the grid on her normal Instagram profile to look a certain way, she said.

Campbell thinks the new feature on Instagram is an interesting idea, she said. However, she explained she would not like having to distinguish on her profile what is for her Close Friends and what is for the rest of her followers.

“I’m a very visual person, so when I look at my Insta grid I want to know what I’m seeing is what others are seeing,” she said.

She would still post some things for her Close Friends, Campbell said.

Pasa said he would not use this new feature, due to the fact that he already has a finsta.

“I already know how close friends and finsta works since I’ve been using it a lot, I’ll just continue to do what I already know,” he said.

Anderson said she does not have a finsta, yet she is also hesitant to use Instagram’s new option for Close Friends.

“I think it’s kind of confusing,” she said. “I don’t want to mess up and post something for the whole world that I did not want them to see.”

Because of the risk of making a mistake, she said she will choose to be safe and not use the feature.

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