The social media copycat strikes again

After garnering flack earlier this year for trying too hard to be TikTok, Instagram has now set its sights on wanting to be exactly like BeReal, another popular app amongst the Gen Zs.  

What happened: Instagram is internally testing IG Candid, a feature that sends users a daily prompt to take and post an ‘in the moment’ photo within two minutes (using a new dual camera feature) which is…. exactly how the app BeReal works.

  • BeReal has soared in popularity this year (particularly with young users tired of fake people on social media) on its way to number one on the App Store charts.  

Why it’s happening: Blatantly copying other apps has worked wonders before. For example, Instagram’s Stories feature (taken from Snapchat) is now its marquee feature. 

  • Instagram’s not the only platform ripping off competitors. In recent years YouTube introduced its Shorts feature to capitalize on TikTok’s popularity, while Twitter added Spaces (still going) and Fleets (RIP), copying both Clubhouse and Instagram.  

Why it matters: In the ongoing fight for user attention (and resulting advertising dollars), social media companies have changed their original value propositions to imitate what's working best for everyone else, overloading users with features they can get elsewhere.