Umm, why did Billie Eilish just add everyone to her close friends on Instagram?

Billie Eilish

If you followed Billie Eilish on Instagram before today, you might have been surprised to see that you’d recently been added to her close friends story.

Are you now besties with Billie Eilish? Is the LGBTQ+ icon about to send a private jet to pick you up and then whisk you to her beautiful mansion in L.A.’s exclusive Highland Park district? Sadly – probably not.

It turns out that 22-year-old Eilish added her entire follower count – approximately 114 million people – to her close friends story yesterday (April 4): usually a way to share posts more privately on Instagram.

This was noticed by a number of fans after they saw a green star at the top of some photos of possible new album cover art as well a new tattoo – indicating that it was a close friends story rather than a normal one.

However, it didn’t take much time for everyone to work out that this wasn’t an isolated incident or a mistake.

Eilish’ followers joked about being added to her close friends story on X (formerly known as Twitter), with everyone wanting to pretend that Eilish “personally” put them on her close friends list rather than adding everyone.

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Even though people may have been disappointed to know they were just one of many added to Eilish’ close friends story, fans were intrigued to see that it was actually a strategy to promote her new album.

Eilish has been steadily promoting her album for a while, as fans spotted unexplained billboards in New York City and Sydney, featuring quotes that may or may not be new lyrics attributed to Eilish because they feature her signature ‘blohsh’ – a genderless stick figure that can be spotted in her merch and previous promotional materials.

One person wrote: “Now this is what I call album promo. Billie Eilish is coming and I don’t think we’re ready.”

So, it seems like adding everyone to her close friends is simply another marketing strategy to create buzz around her new album.

Having said that, Eilish also posted a photo of her tattoo – which she’s had since December – and that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with her new album, so maybe she just wants her fans to feel closer to her.

Eilish came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in 2023, saying she “didn’t realise people didn’t know”.

“I’ve never really felt like I could relate to girls very well. I love them so much. I love them as people. I’m attracted to them as people. I’m attracted to them for real.”

“I have deep connections with women in my life, the friends in my life, the family in my life. I’m physically attracted to them. But I’m also so intimidated by them and their beauty and their presence,” she explained.

Eilish also spoke up about her gender identity, saying that she’s never “really felt like a girl” despite using she/her pronouns.

After coming out, Eilish lost at least 100,000 Instagram followers but has likely regained many of them, and perhaps even more, since then.