Via The Verge, Instagram is now beta testing a new feature called favorites which aims to reinvent the way we share things privately on the social platform. Essentially, if the feature rolls out to all, you’ll be able to select a number of your friends with whom you’re connected with on Instagram by tapping a little green star icon next to their username to add them to your favorites list. Once this list is finished, you can then share photos and videos with only these people. This works similarly to a group conversation in your DMs or having a private profile on Instagram. However, the company believes you’ll use this feature much more than other alternatives.
Why? According to Instagram, those with private profiles tend to post fewer pictures and videos due to social pressures which lead to one’s follower count swelling into numbers the user may not want. Some with public profiles tend to post content, wait for their close friends to like it, and then delete it which is the exact opposite of what Instagram wants. And in general, people are just trying alternative ways to share content with only a select number of users. With favorites, Instagram hopes to offer a solution to these users’ problems.
The way the feature works is pretty straightforward. When posting a photo or video, you’ll have the option of only sharing with your favorites list. If you select this option, only those in your favorites list will see the content you uploaded. To tell whether content is dedicated to this section of your profile, you’ll see the same small green star. There will even be a live feed where all of the content that’s exclusive to favorited users will appear integrated into the app.
In addition, no one will ever get notified if you add them to or remove them from your favorites list. It’s kind of like friending someone on Facebook but without the whole notifying thing in the first place. You also won’t have a limit on how many people you can add to your favorites list, so if you have to add the entire squad, you have the option.
All in all, this feature seems pretty interesting. It’s been in development for over a year now, so Instagram has definitely had time to work on it. Whether it’ll be worth it in the end will be up to the end user. I expect many people to use it over, for instance, setting their profile to private or any of the other alternatives. WE don’t yet know when it might reach users, however, but expect to hear more about it in the near future.