Instagram introduced Stories sharing with a Close Friends List. If you want to share Stories with more personal content, you can create a particular group and include selected users in it. Another new feature that Instagram is testing is adding specific photo descriptions for visually impaired users.
The tool for Stories sharing with selected users is located in the upper right corner of your Instagram account and is called Close Friends List. When you open it, you’ll see suggestions of the friends you’re in touch with the most. You can also create your own group at your discretion. You can share Stories with all users or just with this list. The profiles you add to the group will see that they are part of your list of close friends, but they do not get information on who else is a member of the list.
Instagram introduced this feature due to the rising trend of private sharing. Internal Instagram researches have shown that 85% of messages are between the same three users, confirming the desire for more private sharing. The new tool has private and company profiles. Unfortunately, you can only create one list of close friends. If the function were to become more sophisticated in the future and allow the creation of more specific user groups, for example by content type, it could be very valuable to companies from a marketing point of view.
Another new feature that Instagram is testing is the ability to add specific alternative descriptions to photos for visually impaired people using screen readers. The goal is to make Instagram more accessible to visually impaired users. Photo descriptions will be generated through artificial intelligence. Once the image is uploaded, the text will automatically be created based on the recognition of objects in the photo. How the new tool will be combined with audio sound is not yet clear. This is a much-needed step given that more than 285 million people are visually impaired globally.