The "Close Friends" list in Instagram on an iPhone.
Khamosh Pathak

Sometimes, you don’t want to share an Instagram Story with all your followers. Fortunately, Instagram has a dedicated whitelist option for those times. This feature, called Close Friends, allows you to share a Story with just a small group of friends.

How to Configure a Close Friends List

There are a few ways you can manage your Close Friends list for Instagram Stories. You can add someone to your Close Friends list from his profile or use the dedicated “Close Friends” screen from your own.

RELATED: What Are Instagram's "Stories", and How Do I Use Them?

To get started, open Instagram and tap your profile picture in the bottom-right corner to go to your Profile.

Tap your profile picture.

Next, tap the hamburger menu in the top-right corner.

Tap the hamburger menu.

Tap “Close Friends.”

Tap "Close Friends."

The first time you use this feature, the list will be empty; tap “Get Started.”

Tap "Get Started."

You can type someone’s name in the “Search” bar to look for them on Instagram.

Type a name in the search bar to find someone's Instagram profile.

When you find the person you want to add to your Close Friends list, tap “Add” next to the account name. Repeat this for all the friends you want to add.

Tap "Add."

When you’re done, tap “Create List,” and your Close Friends list is ready!

Tap "Create List."

Now, when you return to your “Close Friends” section, you see the people you added at the top. You also see a list of suggested profiles—tap “Add” if you want to add any of these people to your Close Friends list. If you want to remove someone from the list, simply tap “Remove.”

Tap "Remove."

You can also remove a friend you follow from your Close Friends list from their own profile. To do so, tap “Following.”

Tap "Following."

You have to tap “Add to Close Friends List” first.

Tap "Add to Close Friends List."

You can then come back and tap “Close Friend” to remove that person from your Close Friends list.

Tap "Close Friend."

You can change and edit your Close Friends list any time, and as many times as you want. Instagram doesn’t notify your friends about your Close Friends list activity.

How to Share Stories with Close Friends

The Close Friends feature is integrated into the Instagram Stories interface.

To use it, swipe in from the left on the main Instagram interface. Create a new Instagram Story as you usually would (and maybe try out some of the new effects).

RELATED: How to Use Instagram Effects on iPhone and Android

When you’re done editing your Story, tap “Close Friends” in the bottom toolbar to share it with your Close Friends.

Tap "Close Friends."

Your Profile icon in the Stories section will have a green circle around it to signify it’s a Close Friends Story. If you see this same green circle around a friend’s profile picture in the Stories section, it means you’re on their Close Friends list.

A green circle around a profile picture in Instagram.

When you’re viewing your own Close Friends story, you can tap “Close Friends” at the top right to edit your Close Friends list.

Tap "Close Friends."

You can also swipe up on your Story to see which of your Close Friends have viewed it.

Tap "Edit Your Close Friends List."

Go “Close Friends Only” with the Threads App

Instagram also has a new Threads app dedicated to your Close Friends list. It’s a good way to stay in touch with your nearest and dearest without getting distracted by memes or videos.

The Instagram Threads app on a smartphone.

Threads is the Close Friends feature in its own app. It allows you to quickly share a Story with one friend or your whole Close Friends list. Your Instagram DMs with Close Friends are available in the Threads app, as well.

Conversations in Threads are fully functional for you even if your friends don’t use the app (they can use the Close Friends feature in Instagram).


If you’re looking to further improve your Instagram game, take a look at our tips for uploading the best-looking photos.

RELATED: How to Upload the Best Looking Instagram Images

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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