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How to add Instagram close friends

Make sure just your inner circle sees your most personal content

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

For the first few years of Instagram’s existence, it was a pain to hide stories from people. You had to dig into an individual story’s settings and select followers to hide it from. Then, if you wanted to let those followers see the next story, you had to go into that story’s settings and undo the block.

But in 2018, Instagram launched the close friends feature, which makes it much easier to share content with a limited group. Once you’ve created a close friends list, you’ll have the option to share stories with just that list. If you’re posting content that could be controversial, personal, or NSFW, the option can save you some stress.

Instagram’s new companion app, Threads, is specifically designed for messaging your close friends. When someone on your close friends list messages you, you’ll get the message in Threads rather than Instagram (if you have Threads downloaded, that is).

Threads has some neat features that you can’t access through Instagram. You can immediately send photos to close friends with camera shortcuts, and can set emoji statuses to let everyone know what you’re up to. (An Auto Status feature can also set your status for you based on your location and battery level.)

In case you don’t know how to add folks to your close friends list, we’ll show you how to get started. You can do it through Instagram or through Threads.

How to add close friends in the Instagram app

  • Open the Instagram app for Android or iOS.
  • Tap your avatar in the bottom right corner.
  • From here, you can either click on your username at the top of your profile and tap “Close Friends” (for iOS) or click the menu button on the top right and tap “Close Friends” (for either iOS or Android).
  • If you don’t yet have a close friends list, you’ll see a screen with a “Get Started” button. Tap it. That leads to a list of suggestions for people to start your list with, along with a link for information on how it works. When you’ve chosen your initial list, tap on “Create List.”
  • Now, when you select “Close Friends,” you’ll see your current close friends list. Tap Add on the top right. Search for the friend you want to add, and press the Add button next to their name.

How to add Instagram close friends in the Threads app

  • If you prefer, you can add close friends in Instagram’s Threads app. To start, open Threads and make sure you’re logged into the correct account.
  • Tap the Menu button in the top left corner of the home screen.
  • Select “Choose Close Friends” at the top of the list.
  • You’ll see your current close friends list. (If you’re starting a new list, you must select three or more friends in Threads.) Use the search bar at the top to find the friend you want to add, and tap the empty circle next to their name.

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