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Instagram copies BeReal

The app, which was originally launched in 2019, also prompts users to take pictures at random times each day.

Instagram is testing a new feature called Candid Challenges that bears a striking resemblance to BeReal, a photo-sharing app popular with Generation Z. The feature being tested was discovered by Alessandro Paluzzi, a developer known for reverse engineering apps and finding early versions of upcoming updates. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed that the feature is an “internal prototype” but declined to provide further details.

Instagram users participating in Candid Challenges see a notification at different times each day to take a photo of themselves or their surroundings, Paluzzi said. After receiving the prompt, the Instagram camera will open the front and rear view, and give users a two-minute window to take a photo. Content shared through challenges will appear in Stories.

If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because the functionality is nearly identical to BeReal, a selfie app that’s positioned as a more candid and authentic alternative to the mainstream social media platforms.

The app, which was originally launched in 2019, also prompts users to take pictures at random times each day. Daily Tips also expire after two minutes, after which users can view all the photos their friends have shared that day.

It is not yet clear if Instagram intends to launch this feature and when. An Instagram spokesperson called the feature an “internal prototype.” But the fact that the company is testing the functionality suggests that it is at least considering replicating the application within its own service.

BeReal has a large Gen Z fanbase and has grown in popularity over the past few months. BeReal currently ranks #1 on the Apple App Store, ahead of Instagram (8th) and Facebook (18th). For most of that summer, it was in the top ten most popular free apps.

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Mark Zuckerberg said that the future of Meta depends on its appeal to young people who are spending more and more time on non-Meta platforms. And while TikTok is currently its main competitor, the company has been known to keep a close eye on its competitors and often copy features from other services.