15 Things to Know About Insta­gram Close Friends Feature


Earlier, if you published a story on Instagram, it would be visible to everyone unless you hid it using the privacy settings. You had to blacklist people from your stories if you did not want them to see your story. Now, Instagram has launched a new feature where you can create a whitelist for your stories.

Close Friends Feature Instagram Fi2

In other words, you can now share your stories with a select few. Called as Close Friends, the feature is available for both Android and iPhone users. It is a special list of followers with exclusive viewing permissions. You get this feature in both personal and business profiles.

Like with any new Instagram feature, there's a small learning curve before you can get the most out of it. So let's get started with that learning and fully understand how to use this new close friends feature like a pro.

Note: Most of the screenshots are taken on an Android device, but the steps are same for iOS as well unless otherwise mentioned.

1. Close Friends is a Manual List

If you notice the close friends feature on your Instagram profile, it must be showing zero close friends. Do not get disappointed. That’s because it’s not an automatically generated list by Instagram. You need to add people to this list manually.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 1

2. Add People to Close Friends

To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Instagram app and go to the Instagram profile screen. Then tap on the three-bar icon at the top-right corner.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 2

Step 2: Select Close Friends from the list.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 3

Step 3: On the Close Friends List screen, use the search to find people that you want to add to this list. Then tap on Add present next to their name.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 4
Close Friends Feature Instagram 5

You can also use the automatically generated suggestions from Instagram to find people easily. Just tap on the Suggestions tab.

Step 4: Once you have added the people, tap on the Done button at the top.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 6

3. Edit Close Friends

The close friends feature isn’t a permanent list. You can add or remove people any time. To remove people, follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to the Close Friends option from the three-bar menu at the top of the profile screen of Instagram.

Step 2: Tap on the Remove option present next to the person whom you want to remove from the list.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 7

4. Will People Be Notified When They Are Added or Removed

Thankfully, Instagram doesn’t send a notification to the people when you add or remove them from close friends.

5. Add on Request

The close friends feature is strictly based on the creator’s choice. People cannot request to join the close friends list. Sure, they can send you a DM requesting you to add them in close friends, but there is no dedicated request button on Instagram.

6. Check Who Viewed Your Story

Similar to normal stories, you will be able to view people who have seen your story published under close friends.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 8A

7. Privacy of Close Friends

The list is only visible to the creator. No one can see whom you have added in the list. In other words, no one can see the other members of the close friends list even if they are on the list.

8. Create Story for Close Friends

Instagram provides a one-step way to create stories for close friends only. Once you have created your list, tap the Story icon to create a new story like you normally do. Then instead of tapping on Your Story or Send to options, tap on the new green Close Friends option.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 9

Once you publish the story, only the members of the list will be able to see the story.

9. Identify Close Friends Story

So you open Instagram and see a green circle around one of the stories. Now, what’s that? Well, the person has added you to close friends.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 10

Instagram lets you know that you are viewing exclusive content in two ways. In the first method, you will see a green circle around their profile picture in the story tray. If you somehow miss the green circle, Instagram shows a Close Friends icon in the story as well when you are viewing it. Tap on it to reveal options.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 11
Close Friends Feature Instagram 12

10. No Green Circle Around Story

If you see a green circle around the story once, but the next story by the same person has the usual red circle and not the green circle, what does it mean? One would think that the person has removed you from close friends. It could be that, but it's not necessary. It could also mean the person uploaded a normal story visible to everyone.

11. Add to Highlights

Just like the normal stories, you can create highlights from the stories published in close friends. However, they won’t be visible to everyone. Only the members of your close friends list will be able to view them on your profile.

12. Share Close Friends Story

You get all the features available in normal stories for close friends. However, you won’t be able to share close friends stories with others. Of course, you can still take a screenshot and share it with others. In case you are wondering, no, the other person won’t be notified if you take a screenshot of their story.

Close Friends Feature Instagram 13

13. How Many Lists Can You Create

Currently, Instagram supports only one list, i.e. close friends. It is a single private list. You cannot create multiple versions of this list.

14. Delete Close Friends

Although you cannot completely delete the list from your profile, you can empty it. To do so, simply remove everyone from the list as shown above.

15. No Need to Pay per View

Currently, the closed friends feature is free. That is Instagram hasn't provided any option or tool to monetize it. In other words, you don't need to pay money to be a part of close friends list or view a story.

Close Friends Feature Instagram Monetize

However, soon brands or celebrities might use this feature for their benefit and charge users to add them to their close friends list where they will post exclusive things.

Friends for Life

Instagram is aware that not everyone needs to know everything. While you can restrict your profile by keeping it private, it doesn't always help. Thankfully, with the Close Friends feature, you can now share stories with your close friends or a select group of people.

In a twisted way, the Close Friends for Instagram incorporates several features which are similar to that of the WhatsApp's Broadcast list — only admin can add or remove people, members can't see each other participants on the list, and so on.

Further, you can be freer and create amazing stuff on Instagram such as pictures with quotes, color block stories, moving text, etc.

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

Read Next
Instagram Block vs Mute vs Hide: Common Terms Explained
Also See
#Read more about Instagram Stories #privacy

Join the newsletter


Written By


Mehvish is a computer engineer by profession. Her love for Android made her develop the first app for Kashmir. Known as Dial Kashmir, she won the prestigious Nari Shakti award from the President of India for the same. She has been writing about technology for 3+ years and also has her own Wikipedia page.