How to Use Instagram's Close Friends Feature

Some things are better shared with just a few friends

An image of a woman taking an Instagram story of some colorful leaves.

 Kaboompics

Stories have quickly become a popular feature on Instagram for sharing content on a more casual basis than regular posts, but they don't always need to be seen by all of your followers — especially if you have a lot of them ranging from coworkers and past college colleagues, to current friends and relatives. In this case, Instagram's Close Friends feature can be good solution.

What Is Instagram's Close Friends Feature?

Instagram's Close Friends is a customizable list of the users you like sharing your stories with the most. The feature was designed to help you instantly share those more intimate stories with just the people you consider to be closest to you (whether you follow them or not).

At this time, Close Friends can only be used with stories — not other Instagram sharing features like posts or direct messages.

How to Use Close Friends on Instagram

Instagram's Close Friends feature can only be used on the official Instagram mobile app for iOS or Android. You can't use it on Instagram.com in a web browser. The following instructions apply to both Instagram apps for iOS and Android.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your iOS or Android device and if necessary, sign into your account or switch to the account that you wish to use.

  2. Navigate to your profile tab by tapping the person button in the bottom menu.

  3. Tap the menu button in the top right corner of the home feed.

  4. Tap Close Friends in the vertical menu that slides out from the right.

    A screenshot of Instagram for iOS.
  5. You'll be shown a list of suggested users to add, listed in order of those you interact with the most.

    Tap the green Add button beside any user to add them to your Close Friends list or use the Search field at the top to type in a name or username to quickly locate and add a specific friend.

    A screenshot of Instagram for iOS.

    Users are not notified when you add them to your Close Friends list. You can tap Your List at the top to see your list. There is currently no known limit as to how many users you can add to your Close Friends list.

  6. Share a story with your Close Friends. Tap your profile picture at the top of the home feed (or your profile tab) or swipe right from the home feed to open activate the camera and take a photo or record a video.

  7. Tap the Close Friends button at the bottom of the screen to instantly share it with just the users you've added to your Close Friends list.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  8. To remove users from your list any time, simply navigate to your profile > menu > Close Friends > Your List and tap Remove beside any friend to remove them from your list. Users are not notified when you do this.

How Users Know They're One of Your Close Friends

Although Instagram doesn't notify users whenever you add or remove them from your Close Friends list, they'll be able to distinguish your stories shared with Close Friends from your stories shared with everyone by looking at the color of the ring around your profile picture in the stories feed whenever you post a new story.

Users in your Close Friends list will see a green ring around your profile picture bubble as opposed to the pink ring that's typically seen around profile pictures for regular stories. The green ring is the only way a user can tell that they're a Close Friend.