Instagram has finally added the option to properly control who sees your stories.
The new Close Friends feature will allow users to pick who their most trusted or best followers are and only show them the personal information they don’t want to be pushed out into the world.
Until now, Instagram’s stories have been all or nothing: they are either shared with anyone who sees your profile, even if they don’t follow you, or are not shared at all. The company has offered the option to block specific people from viewing them, but that has to be done individually for each person.
“Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown — sometimes what you want to share isn’t for everyone,” Instagram said in a blog post.
“With your close friend’s list, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose.”
The app’s product director Robby Stein said users are also able to add and remove friends from the Close Friends list as they wish, with no notifications sent in either case.
Instagram, the app has begun to face the same problem of context collapse that its parent company’s flagship does. When you’re posting pictures simultaneously with your best friend, your ex-girlfriend, your colleagues, and a person you met once at a wedding, over time you are likely to share less and less.
For Instagram to continue thriving, it has to carve out space for actual friends to stay in touch. Close friends is a welcome step in that direction.