Instagram has been developing a new way to share photos and videos on the social network with select friends, Instagram’s product lead Robby Stein tells The Verge.
The new feature lets you select certain friends as Favorites, then new posts can be visible to all followers or just the select group of groups you put together.
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The idea is similar to what Instagram’s owner Facebook already does with groups. Facebook allows you to exclude certain friends from seeing specific posts or only share content with select groups.
But Instagram’s approach will be less complex. A single Favorites group of select friends you put together will become an option when sharing new posts which Instagram hopes will encourage more sharing.
“The best version of Instagram is one where you feel closer to the people you are connected to because you’re on Instagram together than you would on any other product in the world,” Stein says. “Even if you live all over the world, you feel like you’re with them. That’s something we want to drive as the core focus of the product.”
Interestingly, favorited friends won’t be notified when added to your list and won’t be able to request into the group. Instead, friends will only know when they see posts with the Favorite badge associated with the feature.
The Verge says a small number of Instagram users will see the new Favorites feature start appearing today, but most users will not see it rolled out for a few more months.
Instagram is available for free on the App Store.