It can be all or nothing with Instagram. With only two privacy settings — public and private account options — your audience choices are slim. You can have a public profile for all the world to see and have no idea who is viewing your photos outside your followers. Or you can have a private account, post only to people who follow and lock out a bunch of would-be followers who don’t send a follow request.
To find a happy medium, Instagram is testing out a “Favorites” list to a “small percentage of users,” according to an Instagram spokesperson. With a Favorites list, users can add friends and others to a list and upload photos that can be viewed by the select few on that list. If successful, the feature may roll out to all users.
Your profile will have a Favorites icons at the top to add other users. When posting a photo or video for Stories, tap the Favorites icon (which has a green star) to send it to your Favorites list. There is a separate feed for Favorites so you can keep track of all the pictures you shared. In turn, you’ll know you’re on another person’s Favorites list if a photo or video has the green star badge at the top right.
The idea of specific lists for specific audiences is similar to lists on Facebook (which owns Instagram), wherein users can post on their own walls, and choose from a dropdown menu who specifically gets to see the post. With more audience control, users who are reticent to share some of their more sensitive photos can still use Instagram and choose exactly who they want viewing their content.