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Instagram Just Killed “Finstas” By Adding A Close-Friends-Only Feature

In case you want to post stuff that isn’t for ~everyone~.

Posted on November 30, 2018, at 5:01 a.m. ET

Instagram just launched a new Close Friends list feature for stories. This is how your friends will see it:


Let’s say — and I’m not suggesting you’re doing anything untoward — you do things in your life that you wouldn’t want to share with all your friends on Instagram. Maybe you love to post stories while Juuling and don’t want all your school or your mom to see. Maybe you just want to post photos of your turds in the toilet because you’re proud of them. Or maybe you want to post lots of wedding planning stories and know that everyone but your closest friends will be sick of it. Look, I don’t know your life.

Good news for you and your double life! Now you can make a list of Close Friends for your stories.

Once you make your Close Friends list, whenever you post a story, you’ll have the option to make it for Close Friends only.

When you post a story, you can choose the green Close Friends star button at the bottom:

You can make your list by tapping the main menu in your profile.


You probably have questions! I’m here for you!

Will my Close Friends know they’re on the list?

Yes. When they see your story, a little green dot will appear. Also, when they see your bubble at the top of their app, it’ll have a green ring around it.

Can I edit my list after I make it?

Yup, you can remove or add people.

Will a friend be alerted if I remove them from the list?

No. If you remove them, they’ll just think you stopped posting Close Friends–only stories (or, if they’re paranoid, they’ll assume you removed them. You know your friends better than I do — they might think you’re a shifty jerk).

Can I use the Close Friends list to post private-ish stuff to my regular feed?
No, it’s for stories only.

Can I make multiple custom friends lists?
No, there’s just the one Close Friends list.

What about adding stuff to Highlights?

If you want to add a Close Friends post to your Highlights, it will remain viewable by Close Friends only. You can also make a Collection of just Close Friends posts.

Will these posts show up in my Archive?

Yes, and they'll be marked with the Close Friends green tag.

Could this replace “finstas”?
Maybe?! Teens love “finstas” — secondary, private Instagram accounts where you can post the kind of stuff you wouldn’t post to your prim and proper main account — because, well, duh. It’s nice to have a place where you can post a shitload of embarrassing dumb pics that your mom or the college admissions board can’t see. By allowing you to curate a list of just close friends, Instagram is giving you a way to shitpost ugly selfies or emotionally vulnerable stuff that perhaps you’d previously relegated to your “finsta.”

Is this a big deal?

I think so! This is the first time Instagram is acknowledging that people don’t want to blast out EVERYTHING to EVERYONE, and that making your account private isn’t always the solution to that problem. Even if you DO make a private account, you might still have stuff that you want to post to some people and not others. Our online selves are like our real selves: complex, layered, full of nuance. This will probably save people a lot of social headaches!

When does this start?

Immediately! It’s rolling out to everyone globally; you just have to update your app.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.