Facebook follows Instagram with Close Friends feature

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

Facebook is developing its own version of Instagram's 'Close Friends' feature, allowing users to share content with select groups of connections.

Known as Favourites, the feature would allow Facebook users to create a group of specified friends on the platform, and will give the option to share Stories or camera posts only to them.

The feature was first spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, and was confirmed by Facebook to TechCrunch. As TechCrunch report, Favourites appears to be a way to encourage users to share more content on the platform while tackling the common problem of friends lists full of people who users may not actually want to keep abreast of their lives.

According to Facebook's own figures, more than 300 million people now use Facebook Stories every day. While that is significantly lower than Instagram's 500 million, it still represents a significant potential audience.

But Facebook has seen major shifts in its demographics, with the over-65s now the fastest-growing user segment on the platform.

The company has been searching for new ways to re-engage younger users, and to reestablish trust in its platform following a series of PR disasters including the Cambridge Analytica scandal.