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What does CFS mean on Instagram?

Keep your private Instagram stories away from prying eyes.

Published onOctober 30, 2023

Instagram offers a fun and light-hearted way to stay in the loop on your friends’ lives and share what you’re up to. You don’t always want everyone on Instagram to see certain stories you post, though. This is why Instagram created CFS. What does CFS mean on Instagram? Let’s tell you all about it.


On Instagram, CFS stands for Close Friends Story. Essentially, it allows you to post stories on Instagram, and make them only visible to a predetermined list of who you consider your "Close Friends."


Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14 to develop these instructions. We also used an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.1 to verify that the steps are the same. 

What does CFS mean on Instagram?

Instagram on Nothing Phone 2 showing Android Authority account
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

As mentioned in the quick answer section, on Instagram, CFS stands for Close Friends Story. It’s a great way to share stories with content you don’t want everyone following you to have access to. So, these are pretty much like any other Instagram stories, but Instagram users will have access to these Close Friends Stories if they aren’t on your list of Close Friends.

This can be a great tool if you happen to use your social media for multiple purposes. For example, you probably don’t want your business customers to see your personal stories. Or maybe you just don’t want certain family members to know about your wild party adventures. Whatever the case may be, we will show you how to manage your Close Friends Stories on Instagram.

How to add or edit Close Friends on Instagram?

Before you can create a Close Friends Story on Instagram, you need to configure your close friends list. Here’s how to do this.

How to add or edit Close Friends on Instagram mobile app:

  1. Launch the Instagram Android or iOS app.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, in the bottom-right corner.
  3. Select the three-line menu button, in the top-right corner.
  4. Pick Close Friends.
  5. Now, you can select everyone you want in your Close Friends list.
  6. When ready, hit Done.

How to make a Close Friends Story on Instagram?

Now that you have your Close Friends list set up, it’s time to start sharing your most private stories! Here’s how to do it.

How to make a Close Friends Story on Instagram app:

  1. Launch the Instagram Android or iOS app.
  2. You should be welcomed by the Home page. If not, tap on the Home tab in the lower-left corner.
  3. You will see a Your Story option with a “+” sign in the stories reel, in the upper section. Tap on it.
  4. Select the image or video you want to share.
  5. Edit the photo or clip. Then tap on Close Friends.
  6. Your post will be immediately shared with your Close Friends list.



If you realize you shouldn’t have shared a story, even with your Close Friends group, deleting it is as easy as removing a regular Instagram story. Just go to Instagram > Home and tap on your story to launch it. Tap on the three-dot menu button and select Delete. Then confirm by hitting Delete again.

Sadly, no. You can only have one set of Close Friends on your Instagram account. It sure would be nice to have “Family,” and other options. Maybe it’s something that could come in a future update.

Yes. You can edit your Close Friends list after you’ve posted a Close Friends Story, and this user will gain access to your CFS. In fact, if you launch the story, you will see an option to do this. Tap on the green icon with a star. Then, select Edit your Close Friends list.

Instagram used to have the option to go live with Close Friends only, but it has disappeared for most of us. You can still choose to hide the livestream from specific users, though. When going live, just tap on the Settings gear icon, hit Live > Hide Live From, and select who you want to hide the livestream for.

No. No one can see who is or isn’t on your Close Friends list on Instagram. This list is for your eyes only.

There is no known limit on how many people you can add to your Instagram Close Friends list.

No. There is no way for people to request being added to your Instagram Friends List. That is, unless they literally ask you to do it.

Only people in your Close Friends list can see a Close Friends Story. They will be able to tell it is a Close Friends Story, by the way. The CFS will show a green icon with a star to those who can view it.

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