Since launching Stories, Instagram's focus has been directed towards finding new ways to help its users share individual moments as they happen. We've seen this through improvements to direct messages and live video, as well as increased offerings within Stories. Now, the app is testing another method of instant sharing: Favorites.
The Verge broke the news on Friday, and Instagram confirmed to Refinery29 that it's trying out the tool. A spokesperson referred to Favorites as "a new way to share stories and posts in feed with a set of friends you've chosen." This makes it more similar to another Facebook product, Messenger, which also lets you communicate with smaller groups of friends versus your entire friend group on Facebook.
Only a small group of users currently have access to Favorites. If you have it, you'll see a green star icon on your Instagram profile. Tap that, and then you can choose which friends get to be part of the coveted list.
When you use Stories or when you're scrolling through your feed, you'll see a green bar with the star and "Favorites" along the bottom of the screen. Tap that, and the post is instantly shared with your pre-selected groups of friends.
You can add or take away people from your Favorites list at any time, so if someone gets on your bad side, you can change their status. But you'll want to be smart about it, since people can tell when they're on — and off — your Favorites list. If you don't see the green "Favorites" badge on that person's Story or regular post, you didn't make the cut. And here we were hoping cliques ended when you graduated high school.
Still, as cliquey as it might seem, Favorites could be especially useful for people with a large following and public account. While they might not want to share everything with their fans (or manage two accounts to divide their posts), the option of sending a particularly private post to their IRL friends or family members on the app could be more appealing.
While Favorites hasn't rolled out to the world, Instagram has a strong history of turning its trial features into permanent ones. It recently did so with its Archive feature.