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Instagram Exploring Expansion of ‘Close Friend’ Services

Instagram has confirmed it is looking into expanding the ‘close friend’ services it provides. This is a response to a reduction in people posting to the main feed. Everyday ordinary people tend to use stories and DMs on the platform that can be targeted at close friends. The algorithms of the platform mean that in recent years, the main feed has become a place dominated by influencers and brands, not your friends and families.

The new feature would allow for a new main feed and posts just for your close friends. It’s being tested in a number of countries, including the UK. A Meta spokesperson responded to Tech Crunch’s report on the feature and confirmed:

“We’re testing the ability for people in select countries to share feed posts with their Close Friends. We’re always exploring new ways for our community to express themselves and connect on Instagram.”

When you narrow the audience a post can go to, people are much more likely to participate. The domination the algorithm gives to high quality produced content from what are essentially professional, make the main feed a less welcoming place. Suddenly the standards of lighting, quality and production, make sharing your quick snap feel unworthy.

Hence why since 2018 and the introduction of close friends on stories, that has dominated the user experience alongside DMs for the average user on the app. Just like the news from Clubhouse yesterday, social networking apps are recognising the power and appeal to the average user of narrowing down people’s audience. When you’re not broadcasting to the whole world, you are much more likely to be active with your friends and meet new ones who share similar interests on these platforms. It all leads back to why social discovery is such a growing space. People want real authentic connections with real people, not social media spaces that are actually just all about the media aspect.

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