Instagram has launched a new test that will allow people to choose specific profiles that will be able to see their stories, as part of an additional element during the creation of stories for each post.
As you can see in these screenshots, ‘Selected People’, which is being tested in Brazil, will allow users to tag specific users they want to allow to see each of their story updates.
It is essentially a replacement version of the current Instagram option ‘Close Friends’, which allows users to make a list of their key contacts for sharing stories, and this new variation provides more specific capacity with each upgrade, offers more control but also more work in defining your specific the audience every time.
As Instagram explained for 9 to 5 Macs:
“Previously, with the ‘Close Friends’ feature, people could only share stories with the same list of friends without being able to edit it. With this test you will be able to add, remove or keep people on your list with different stories. ”
More options to control who sees your posts might be helpful, while Instagram also notes that your Selected People list will stay in place until you edit it again. Which means it’s almost completely like the current “Close Friends” option, but with the added capacity to easily change it every time you post a message.
This seems like a useful addition under the radar, which may seem like just a small update, but could provide a significant improvement in publishing capacity, making it easier to share stories more intimately, privately, without broadcasting for everyone with each post.
It could also open up a new form of special stories that can only be shared with a few friends at once. Of course, you can also use Instagram Direct for this type of interaction, but the ability to share plain full-screen stories, which are only shown to certain users, could have some value, which could be a fun engagement option.
And for brands, it could also offer new capacities, such as announcing the winners of the competition and offering exclusive offers to a very specific audience. Again, you can already use close friends to reach certain groups, but choosing just one person or smaller groups of people, each time you post a message, could facilitate new ways to increase brand engagement and encourage greater connection with fans.
It seems, overall, as a good addition – Instagram is currently only testing it in Brazil, although it looks like it should be released soon.
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