You Don't Need a New App to Post Private Instagrams, Just Make Your Instagram More Private

Illustration for article titled You Don't Need a New App to Post Private Instagrams, Just Make Your Instagram More Private
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On Thursday Instagram announced it was making Threads, an entirely separate app just for your close friends. It’s clearly inspired by the popularity of the close friends feature on the app, but maybe also the finstas that teens make to stay under the radar from parents looking at their social media.


The app, as reported on by The Verge, is slim. It basically sounds like a messaging app, like a group chat to send photos to your “close friends” circle. It will also have a status screen where you can update what you’re doing (kind of like old Facebook statuses), or you can opt into a service that updates it for you based on your location (“at work,” for example). Creepy!

But does an app entirely dedicated to sharing content with your close friends need to exist? Here’s a tip: Just text them. Or, instead of downloading a second app to share private Instagrams with your friends, just make your single Instagram more private.

I can see why the close friends feature has its perks, for example if you’re an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers who wants to share a spicy private message with a few besties. But otherwise, if you find yourself sharing more to your close friends list than whoever else follows you, why not just limit your following overall to those friends? You can soft-block those ex-coworkers you barely speak to, the old friend’s roommate who moved cross-country years ago, the high school classmates whose names you can hardly remember. We do not live in the “everyone is friends on Facebook because it’s like one big, totally apolitical, fun yearbook ha ha” era of social media anymore.

Is it impolite to be judicious about who follows you on an app where you might post intimate moments from your life? No, because you’re not a 10-year-old child handing out Valentine’s Day cards to your classmates. It’s Instagram, just do whatever you want with it.

Hazel Cills is the Pop Culture Reporter at Jezebel. Her writing has been published by outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, and more.



If someone wanted to achieve this couldn’t they just have multiple Instagram accounts with different settings (one private, another not)?

I’m careening towards 40, and at this point I look for any excuse to delete the few apps I currently have. And I’m guessing kids would prefer sharing apps that aren’t controlled by one of the lame old tech giants, so this is probably going to flop miserably?