reuters instagram photo
photo: Reuters

For months, Instagram has been testing a new feature called "Close Friends." And apparently the tests went well, because it's now globally launching the feature on iOS and Android over the next few days. "Close Friends" is a private list of, well, your close friends, which makes it easier to share with them the silly, racy, or vulnerable content you don't want your other followers to see.

Here's the deal. If you've ever wanted to send an Insta Story of yourself doing something embarrassing or racy, but didn't want your mom, your boss, or your entire Instagram following to see it, the Close Friends List is for you.

instagram close friends
photo: Instagram

Once you get the Instagram update (over the next few days), whenever you post a story, you’ll have the option to make it visible to Close Friends only. Just choose the green Close Friends star button at the bottom.

instagram close friends
photo: Instagram

To make your list, you'll simply tap the main menu in your profile and hit "Close Friends List."

instagram close friends list
photo: Instagram

Then, through suggestions or search, you can pick and choose who you consider a close friend. Don't worry, no one gets notified if they’re added or removed from your list.

instagram close friends
photo: Instagram

If you have the honor of being on someone's Close Friends list, their photo will show up in your Stories lineup with a green ring, and their Story will have a green badge marking it as a Close Friends Story. If you're removed from their Close Friends list, that green badge will disappear without a trace.

instagram close friends
photo: Instagram

Here's how a Close Friend's story will look from your main Instagram feed.

instagram close friends
photo: Instagram

Long story short, there's now an OFFICIAL place you can share all that random (or embarrassing, or personal) stuff you don't want the whole world to see.

It's essentially just a "Finstagram," a.k.a. a "fake" Instagram account, to share posts without the pressure to look cool, but in story form.

Or as this person puts it, it's a nonjudgmental friends list.

It's kind of like Myspace's Top 8 and Snapchat's Best Friends features, but less shallow.

Some people are saying the new Instagram feature will kill Snapchat for good. I, for one, will not be upset if that happens.

accessibility features

The Close Friends feature comes on the heels of Instagram's recent announcement that it's removing inauthentic activity on the app. In other words, no more fake friends. Period.