Meta is developing an Instagram feature to directly rival a newly popular social media app.
Instagram appears to be creating a feature that copies up-and-coming social media app BeReal. The feature was leaked online on Tuesday and later confirmed by Meta. An Instagram spokesman stated that the IG Candid tool is not available to the public and is only being prototyped internally. There is no timeline for a public release, assuming it is released.
IG Candid, which mirrors the functionality of BeReal, notifies users to take an authentic photo at random times throughout the day, in an effort to make social media use less staged and more intimate.
“Instagram… is testing a feature that looks almost identical to BeReal, according to a screenshot posted on Twitter by developer Alessandro Paluzzi. In the image, Instagram asks users to “Join IG Candid Challenges” and “every day at a different time, get a notification to capture and share a photo in 2 minutes,” says Bloomberg.
Why it’s news
The feature, if launched, would be an aggressive push against a new and popular social media competitor. The Verge described IG Candid as a “murder clone,” and that appears “designed to neutralize upstarts by imitating their killer features.”
As we reported this week, BeReal drew over 20 million downloads in July and hit the #1 spot on the Apple App Store. The Paris-based developer launched in 2019 and has received 43.3 million downloads, 40 million alone this year, according to CNN Business.
Instagram has faced criticism in the recent past for copying features from other social media apps like Tik Tok and Snapchat. Reels and Stories, respectively, are features meant to directly compete with rival apps.
Major social media influencers like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian have criticized Instagram in the past month for trying to make Instagram more like Tik Tok, posting “Make Instagram Instagram Again” and “Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends.” Kardashian’s prior criticism of Snapchat in 2018, against its redesign, caused its parent company’s shares to drop 7%, according to CNBC.
BeReal has yet to release a comment or statement.
“This isn’t even the first time Meta has been accused of copying BeReal. Last month, around the time BeReal was rocketing in popularity, it widely rolled out a new feature called Dual which… People were quick to point out the BeReal similarities…. the Dual feature had actually been in development for several years, and its release around the time of BeReal’s explosion in popularity was simply ‘convenient’,” says The Verge.