If you’ve opened up Instagram in the last few days, you may have noticed a new feature, one that looks pretty disconcerting at first glance: Instagram is telling you that you have no friends. Or at least no “close friends.” The social app has rolled out a new feature—your “close friends” list—which allows you to share your Instagram stories with a select group of people all at once, instead of blasting them out to all of your followers or sending them to each of your besties one at a time.
Why bother? As Lifehacker points out, the list allows you to walk the line between making your Instagram totally private and having the entire world see that story of you drinking wine without pants on next to your cat.
So how do you add your besties to your close friends list, and how do you actually share pics with them?
Adding to your close friends list is pretty easy. If you go to your profile, you can click the top right-hand corner of the screen and scroll down to the close friends option. Once you get to the close friends page, you can search for users to add. Instagram will also suggest people for you to add to the list based on people you’ve messaged lately. Don’t worry if you add someone by mistake. They won’t be notified that you’ve put them on your list, and you can just click “remove” to get rid of them.
Now, it’s time to share a photo. Go up to the top-left corner of your feed or swipe left to start a new story. Once you’ve got a video or an image to share, click the green star at the bottom of the screen to send it to your close friends list.
You’ll be able to see your Story in your feed, as will the people on your list, but your general followers won’t. The story will have a green “close friends” button at the top of it to let you know that it’s not a public image. The recipients will see the same tag, so they will know it's just for their eyes. (And that you love them enough to put them on your list.) If you want to edit your list to add or remove users, you can tap that green button on your Story to go straight to your list.
Many hardcore Instagram users already have “Finsta” accounts that they only share with their close friends, maintaining a whole different account for public consumption. Now, Instagram is just baking that idea into a feature in its Stories section, allowing users to limit the reach of their images without having to go through the hassle of hopping from one account to another.