Note: This was featured as part of our Web Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:20 am ET for your dose of social media & digital marketing news. You can listen to the segment below:

As Instagram continues to grow, more than 400 million people post Stories every day. We shared some data about how people are using the feature and how businesses should maximize their reach there.

One thing that’s been revealed is that some people rely on Instagram’s messaging tool to send posts to small groups of friends. Others use secondary accounts, or “finstagrams,” to reveal a different or more intimate part of their lives to a more limited audience.

Which brings us to the updates we’re sharing today:

“Close Friends” Privacy Options

With the addition of Stories to Instagram, people have started to share more intimate moments of their day. Instagram, being the forward-thinking and ever-evolving platform that it is, has decided to release a further veil of privacy, allowing users to share Stories to just Close Friends. Users can add any connection to this list, and the list itself will remain private (you can’t see who is on whose Close Friends list). BUT you will receive a notification that you are added to someone’s list.

The other privacy options are still available:  

  1. You can make your account public (all content you share is viewable by the world) or private (content limited to just those who you accept to follow you)
  2. You can block people from seeing certain stories (not photo feed content though)

As a business, we’re excited to see this feature evolve and allow VIP lists, preferred members/customers to be listed as “Close Friends” to receive further customized and curated content. I’m hoping the name “Close Friends” will evolve and be able to be customized.

Voice Text Capabilities Are Coming to Direct Messages

The messaging features in Instagram are slowly but surely becoming more robust and complete. The process to record a voice message is similar to other voice features in other apps. While Instagram definitely didn’t invent the wheel here, it just took what works for its sister apps, WhatsApp and Facebook, and implemented it.

Applying to businesses, voice messages are a great way to build a personal rapport with your community, letting them really get to know you, trust you and ultimately choose to support you.

Which of these updates are you excited about? Do you think you’ll use the Close Friends feature? Contact us today at (888) 632-4499 for further help with these new features!

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