Close Friends Story – The Meaning of CFS on Instagram

An amazing and sometimes confusing aspect of language is how it shifts over time. A word or phrase may completely change meaning from one generation to the next. A slang acronym that has some people scratching their heads these days is “CFS.” 

Boomers and Gen Xers may know CFS as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a chronic illness that causes a myriad of symptoms, including post-exertional malaise. While Gen Z uses the slang term in texts and messages to describe someone as “cute, funny, and sweet.”

But what does CFS mean on Instagram? Even that can be tricky to decipher. CFS could mean “comment for the shoutout,” a strategy some influencers use to increase engagement with their Instagram followers.  Today, however, CFS more commonly refers to an Instagram feature known as a Close Friends Story.

What Does CFS Mean on Instagram?

On Instagram, CFS means “Close Friends Story.” It is a private Instagram story that is separate from the rest of your Instagram profile. The feature allows you to share a personal story with a selected group of close friends.

what does cfs mean on instagram

This offers a great deal more privacy rather than sharing all of your personal moments with every single one of your followers.

The CFS feature comes in especially handy when you have a lot of followers that you may not know in real life. Sometimes you may want to share a more private moment with just a handful of followers.

Rather than hand-selecting a group of users each time you post a story, CFS is a way to streamline your privacy by having a select group of followers ready to go when you want to share something a little more personal.

What Are the Benefits of the CFS Feature on Instagram?

A lack of privacy is, arguably, one of the greatest downfalls of social media. Sharing too much personal information with a “friend” who, in reality, is a person you have never met can be incredibly dangerous.

Even seemingly harmless content can provide predators with sensitive information. The CFS feature offers more flexibility to your privacy. You can:

  • Choose the followers who will be on your cf list
  • Select which personal moments you want to share
  • Easily update your Close Friends List at any time 

Limiting who you share your personal story with can keep you safe online.

How to Activate the CFS feature?

The CFS feature is simple to use. Open Instagram and tap your profile picture. On your profile page, tap the hamburger button in the upper right corner. Find and select “Close Friends.” Select the friends you want to include and then tap “Done.” That’s it – you’ve created your Instagram cf list! 

You can change this list at any time by following the steps above. Add new friends, remove friends, or start fresh by selecting “clear all.”  

You don’t have to worry about offending friends because Instagram will not notify a user if they’ve been added or deleted from the list. Close friends will only know they are on your list if you post a private story. It’s another thoughtful way that the social media platform has taken your privacy into consideration. 

Now that you have created your Close Friends list, you can begin posting content. This process is just like posting a regular Instagram story. 

Open the Instagram app and tap the + button in the upper right corner. Tap “Story.” Select and edit the content you want to post. Once your Instagram story is ready, you will see two options at the bottom of the screen: “Your Story” and “Close Friends.” Tap “close friends.”

While your story is loading you’ll see a green circle around your profile picture, which you can tap to view your story. 

Like a regular Instagram Story, your Close Friends Story will be available for up to 24 hours. You can preserve it by saving it as a highlight. This will save it in your Instagram account, but will only be visible to your Close Friends. 

While there are no notifications when you post a Close Friends Story, it will be pushed to the front of your Close Friends’ feeds and be highlighted with a green circle. This green circle is how friends will know they are on your Close Friends list. 

Unfortunately, if you find yourself on someone’s Close Friends list and you don’t want to be, there is no way to remove yourself. Simply ignore their stories, or you can block or unfollow the user. 


Read on for answers to our most frequently asked questions about Instagram’s Close Friends Story. 

How do you know if you are in someone’s Instagram CFS?

The only way to know if you are on an Instagram user’s Close Friends Story is if they post and you see a green ring around their story. When you click on their story there will be a green label that says “Close Friends.”

How does Instagram suggest Close Friends?

Like most things on the internet, the close friend’s suggestions come from an algorithm based on how much you interact with someone through Instagram. This may be through responding to content or through direct messaging. Regardless of who is suggested, you can add or delete anyone from your cfs list. 

Does Instagram send notifications to you when you edit the CFS list?

Instagram does not send out notifications when you edit a CFS list. Because CFS is a privacy feature, Instagram protects your privacy by not notifying users if they’ve been added or deleted from a close friends list. So you can feel free to change or edit your CFS as often as you like without worrying about offending your followers. 


Social media slang changes all the time, which can make the meaning of some words and acronyms confusing, but we’re here to help clear the confusion. The meaning of the CFS acronym on Instagram is “close friends story,” an easy-to-use feature that allows you to share a private story with your closest friends, protecting your overall privacy online.


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