Facebook is building its own version of Instagram Close Friends, the company confirms to TechCrunch. There’s a lot people that don’t share on Facebook because it can feel risky or awkward since its definition of “friends” has swelled to include family, work colleagues, and distant acquaintances. No one wants their boss or grandma seeing their weekend partying or edgy memes. There are whole types of sharing, like Snapchat’s Snap Map-style live location tracking, that feel creepy to expose to such a wide audience.
The social network needs to get a handle on microsharing. Yet Facebook has tried and failed over the years to get people to build Friend Lists for posting to different subsets of their network.
Back in 2011 Facebook said that 95 percent of users hadn’t made a single list. So it tried tried auto-grouping people into Smart Lists like High School Friends and Co-Workers, and offered manual always-see-in-feed Close Friends and only-see-important-updates Acquaintances lists. But they too saw little traction and few product updates in the past 8 years. Facebook ended up shutting down Friend Lists Feeds last year for viewing what certain sets of friends shared.
Then a year ago, Instagram made a breakthrough. Instead of making a complicated array of Friend Lists you could never remember who was on, it made a single Close Friends list with a dedicated button for sharing to them from Stories. Instagram’s research had found 85% of a user’s Direct messages go to the same 3 people, so why not make that easier for Stories without pulling everyone into a group thread? Last month I wrote that “I’m surprised Facebook doesn’t already have its own Close Friends feature, and it’d be smart to build one.”
How Facebook Favorites Works
Now Facebook is in fact prototyping its version of Instagram Close Friends called Favorites. It lets users designate certain friends as Favorites, and then instantly post their Story from Facebook or Messenger to just those people instead of all their friends as is the default.
The feature was first spotted inside Messenger by reverse engineering master and frequent TechCrunch tipster Jane Manchun Wong. Buried in the Android app is the code that let Wong generate the screenshots above of this unreleased feature. They show how when users go to share a Story from Messenger, Facebook offers to let users to post it to Favorites, and edit who’s on that list or add to it from algorithmic suggestions. Users in that Favorites list would then be the only recipients of that post within Stories, like with Instagram Close Friends.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to me that this feature is a prototype …read more
Read more here:: https://techcrunch.com/social/