Instagram is a great platform to share photos and videos with the world, but sharing with smaller groups is near impossible. You can directly message photos, stories, or post links to friends, but that only works for one person at a time. To share your content with a small group of people you care about at the same time, you'll have to use the new "Close Friends" list.
Most likely, you won't find this feature in your app as it stands. That's because Instagram hasn't rolled out Close Friends to the public yet. The Next Web reports Instagram has been testing the feature throughout this year, with no indication of when it will officially release.
That being said, your best chance to experience the Close Friends option is to sign up for the Instagram beta. There's no guarantee that you will find the feature if you do, but if Instagram were to test out a feature like this, the beta would most likely be their platform of choice. Unfortunately, the Instagram beta for iOS is accessible by invitation only, however, the Android beta is open to anyone who signs up.
If you do gain access to Close Friends (previously called "Favorites"), you can add as many users as you like, all of whom will then receive any photos or stories sent to the group in their individual feeds. So, it's not like a direct message at all, but a regular post or story that only some people can see. (Though, you can now share in direct messages too.)
None of your friends will be notified they have been added to your Close Friends list, but posts you share to the group list will appear in their feed with a green star. This is the only way other users know they are a part of your Close Friends list. Close Friends will also have access to a section of your profile entitled "Favorites," which contains the content you've shared with the group.
To add a friend to your Close Friends list, just tap the ellipsis (...) icon on their profile page, then choose "Add to Close Friends List." If you remove a user from Close Friends (done the same way as adding one), they will not be notified and will lose the ability to see your posts, along with your Favorites folder, which will appear empty.
Because Close Friends is being tested on so few accounts, information about the feature is limited. We will watch out for any developments with Close Friends and will update this guide whenever possible.
Do you have access to Close Friends? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.