Instagram testing feature that seems identical to BeReal

BeReal exploded in popularity this summer. Now the entire concept on which it is built could become just another Instagram feature.

According to leaker Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is working on a new feature called “IG Candid Challenges,” which prompts users to take a picture every day at a different time within a two-minute window and then share it with others participating in the challenge.

Users must open the front and rear-facing cameras to take two pictures simultaneously. Paluzzi shared his findings on Twitter, along with the accompanying screenshots, one of which said that snaps taken during the challenges would appear on Instagram’s Stories tray.

It looks almost identical to what BeReal does, which soared in popularity in recent months, becoming the number one free app in the iOS App Store in the US. The French app is especially popular with Gen Z users, sold on a promise of a more authentic and unstaged social media experience.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has confirmed to Engadget that the feature it was working on was an “internal prototype” and was not yet tested externally. It is not clear when – if at all – the feature will be released.

It is likely some form of it may be announced, as Meta is struggling to keep young people from jumping ship and leaving for rival social media platforms. To keep them, it has emulated competition before – whether through its Snapchat-like Stories or Reels based on a short video format perfected by TikTok.

Instagram has been busy replicating the best bits of its rivals to a point where it led to backlash from top influencers on the platform, Kim Kardashian and Kyle Jenner, who said they just wanted to see “cute photos” of their friends again.

As its popularity grows, BeReal is also facing increasing criticism. Some users are frustrated that the app allows people to post after a two-minute window expires. Critics say this leaves room for people to fake their experiences to look more glamorous – just as they would on Instagram.