Facebook Messenger could soon get a feature that allows users to share things with a limited number of close friends.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) revealed the in-development feature, called ‘Favorites’ before Facebook confirmed it was working on it to TechCrunch. Favorites works similarly to the ‘Close Friends’ feature added to Instagram last year.
Facebook’s Favorites lets you manually select certain friends considered favourites. Then, when you share something to your Story or a camera post in Messenger, you can send it to your Favorites list. You can also choose to send it as normal, which allows all your friends to see it. It’s a middle ground between sending it to everyone or sharing a post directly with one friend.
Facebook/Messenger is testing "Favorites" list for Stories
It's like Instagram’s Close Friends pic.twitter.com/dsIinrX1Zd
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) November 21, 2019
That said, Facebook claims the feature isn’t a way of restricting who sees your actual Facebook Story, which is how Instagram’s Close Friends works.
Facebook already offers a similar feature called ‘Friend Lists‘ that allows users to sort their Facebook friends into different groups, including ‘Close Friends,’ ‘Acquaintances’ and ‘Restricted.’ However, users can’t share to specific groups on the list. Creating Friend Lists is also a more complex process.
Plus, Facebook announced it was shutting down some features connect to Friend Lists because people weren’t using them.
Hopefully, Favorites is a simpler feature that encourages people to use it more. That said, Facebook is still developing Favorites and it could change significantly before launch.