Instagram Stories have, in the past, been an all-or-nothing affair. Unlike Facebook, which allows you to make posts that only certain friends can see, all Instagram stories have gone to all followers, be it your college buddies, your dad, or your boss (unless they're part of a direct message).
That has finally changed. Instagram has rolled out a new feature called "Close Friends," which allows you to send more private Stories to a pre-selected group.
The company has been testing a feature called "favorites" since June 2017, which allowed people to post photos to a limited group of followers, as well as stories. The idea now only applies to Stories, but should still be a valuable tool for influencers, or anyone with a wide Instagram following who wants to share personal content.
To use this feature, start by creating a Story. You do this by tapping your icon with the little Plus sign over it in the top left corner. This will open the camera.
Once you've got a Story, here's how to share it with Close Friends only.
1. Tap the green circle with a white star in it. You'll be brought to your "Close Friends" list.
2. Select your Close Friends. Instagram will suggest those you interact with the most.
3. Post your Story. You now only need to tap the green circle whenever you want to post a story to your Close Friends. Your Close Friends will see a green ring, rather than the usual purple, around your story.
Finally, you no longer have to worry that your mom will see your late-night clubbing videos!
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Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she wrote about everything from artificial intelligence to social media and the internet of things to. She had a particular focus on smart home, reviewing multiple devices. In her downtime, you can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.