Instagram’s Close Friends feature highlights privacy concerns among teenagers


Amelia Tai

The Close Friends feature on Instagram allows users to create a selective list of followers to view private content.

Close Friends is a story feature on Instagram that allows users to grant a selective list of followers special permission to view private posts. As social media is regularly used among high schoolers, SCHS students provided insight on what they post on their main stories in comparison to their Close Friends story.

Senior Brian Sawaya is careful about what he posts on his Close Friends story. While posting, Sawaya considers how other users will feel after seeing his content.

“I post any funny moments in my day, or anything I’m proud of,” Sawaya said. “Anything that people will feel happy for me for and not get jealous over.”

Sophomore Ivana Fonkwo believes being careful when one posts on their social media is important based on who the viewers are. Fonkwo’s Close Friends posts are different to what she puts on her main story because of the differentiation of people who see her content.

“I have some professional contacts on my main story, so I’d rather not have them see everything I think about,” Fonkwo said. 

Sawaya is cautious of posting something he might regret later that can have effects if not carefully thought through. 

“I want to be secure about my reputation at the school,” Sawaya said. “Especially if you’ve been here for four years, you don’t want anyone to judge you.”

Sophomore Atelaite Vehikite believes she can express herself more on her Close Friends story than she can on her main story. 

“I think of it – as my main story – to be like my mind, like my physical stuff that people always see,” Vehikite said. “My close friends list kind of refers to inside my mind, like what is really going on within.”

Vehikite thinks the Close Friends story is a positive feature for Instagram. She feels more comfortable with the private story’s security and privacy.

“I feel like it brings people more security just because they know they’re in charge of that story,” Vehikite said. “Instead, if you have a public page, then anyone can see your story.”

Sawaya finds having a Close Friends story does not just ensure the user’s privacy, but it can show one’s real life and true self through expression. 

“It allows you to choose who sees the vulnerable part of you, and I feel like that’s a really big part of your friendships,” Sawaya said.