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[Discussion] Instagram Introducing Reels Sharing with only Close Friends: A New Era of Private and Personalized Broadcasting

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Instagram, the popular social media platform, is taking a new leap toward privacy by introducing a unique and personalized feature for its users. Aptly named "Close Friends on Live", Instagram now allows users to broadcast live only to those specified under their Close Friends list, stepping away from the previously available public broadcast option.

A Fresh Look at Live Broadcasting

Since Instagram first introduced live broadcasting back in 2016, it was always a feature open to the public, essentially anyone who follows the broadcaster. While this feature has been extensively utilized by celebrities and influencers to connect with fans, for a regular user, this might seem a bit daunting. With the introduction of the "Close Friends on Live" feature, which allows users to share their thoughts, memes, plan trips, or even do homework together with only their closest friends, Instagram is looking to entice more users into using the live broadcast feature.

Increased Control & Privacy

The idea behind this innovation is not just to increase user engagement but also to give users more control over who can participate in their broadcasts. By allowing users to select who they want to share their real-time interests with, Instagram becomes more appealing to those who prefer a more private and intimate conversation stage. The introduction of this new feature is a clear indication of Instagram's ongoing efforts to shift its platform toward curated and private connectivity.

Social Networking—Back to Roots

Apart from the new "Close Friends on Live" broadcast feature, Instagram has also rolled out a status feature called Notes last year. Through this feature, users can update their real-world friends using just text and emojis. With posts lasting for 24 hours, Instagram sees this as an opportunity for our users to start lightweight and private conversations.

Over the years, Instagram has been heavily associated with influencers and ads, which has led some regular users to long for the early "back to basics", personal connection days of Instagram. Incorporating features for these users indicates Instagram's regard for its roots—that is, a platform initially for connecting with friends. With the "Close Friends on Live" feature, there's every chance of users exploring and enjoying the rejuvenated charm of the platform's early days.

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