As the person running the Boost Nomination Pilot, I can answer this one: No, being in Friend Tier will not have any impact on how your stories are distributed. Having the cute lil Friend Tier badge might catch a reader's eye when they see your stories, but being in Friend Tier does NOT impact how your stories are distributed on Medium:

Ariel Meadow Stallings

I'm a Medium product manager, but also a whole-ass person: author, publisher, devotional dancer, Seattleite, mom, and just a human humanning.