Skip to main content

Instagram’s new Close Friends List lets you decide who should see your Story

Sharing to Instagram Stories no longer means blasting that short video or photo to every follower. On Friday, November 30, an Instagram update brought the option to create a “close friends” list for those stories that you don’t want widely shared.

Instagram says the new feature is designed to help users share stories that are more personal with a smaller group of friends. To create the list, users can navigate to their profile and access the new Close Friends List option from the menu. From there, users can see who to add to the list and can also edit that list. A separate tab contains suggested friends to add to the list.

While Instagram says that users can’t request to be on your list, the friends you add to that list will be able to see that they are part of your close friends list. Friends that are listed will see a green outline around your profile picture in the story carousel, and while viewing the story, will see a green badge that tells viewers not everyone is seeing that post.

Instagram’s story sharing options were previously limited in privacy settings, with the options largely limited to setting the entire account as public or private. The feature does, however, join the existing option to list people who shouldn’t see your story. The tool could also help Instagrammers using a public profile to choose to share among just real life friends and not followers.

“Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown and sometimes what you want to share isn’t for everyone,” Instagram wrote in a blog post on Friday. “With Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose.”

Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, already has friends lists, though those lists aren’t used for stories. Facebook’s privacy options for stories include sharing publicly, sharing to friends, and hand-selecting a list of friends to share with.

Instagram says the feature begins rolling out today with the latest Instagram app update, available for both iOS and Android users.

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
Instagram now lets you see why the same accounts keep appearing in your feed
how to get followers on instagram 6

Instagram announced a new feature Thursday where users can see the accounts they interact with the most and least -- offering a glance into how the popular photo-sharing app’s algorithm works. 

In an effort of transparency, the feature will begin rolling out within the next few days and answers the question of why we tend to see posts from some users more than others.

Read more
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more