Facebook is developing a new feature to its messenger app that would allow you to share content with a small group of close friends. The feature, currently being developed underneath the name “Favorites,” was first discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong before Facebook confirmed its existence directly to TechCrunch.
There are a lot of people on Facebook who don’t post because they may feel insecure or uncomfortable because their concept of “mates” has swelled to include parents, peers in the office, and remote acquaintances. There are all sorts of networking, such as live location tracking in Snapchat’s Snap Map-style, that sound weird to show such a wide audience.
The social network needs a micro sharing button. Over the years, though, Facebook has tried and failed to get people to create Friend Lists for posting to different subsets of their network.
Facebook’s Favorites will require you to be in your inner circle manually designating those mates. Then you could submit it to this list whenever you have a story or camera post that you would like to share using Messenger. It’s a middle ground between making all of your buddies see content posted on your Facebook account, or submitting it privately via direct message to individuals. Like Snapchat, though, Facebook says that the app isn’t a way to limit who posts the actual Facebook post.
Facebook already has a Friend Lists feature that allows you to organize your Facebook friends into Close Contacts, Acquaintances, and Restricted. Favorites, though, appears to be able to provide a simpler approach, with only one list of preferred mates to build, close to the approach taken by Instagram.
The new Favorites functionality of Facebook is still being developed and tested, and it’s early enough that the organization hasn’t even officially begun reviewing it internally. That ensures it can change a lot if it ever gets released at all before this receives an official release.