Are social media platforms failing to BeReal?

Copying features isn’t anything new to the social media game. The platforms replicate features from each other, creators recreate content from other creators, and we all enjoy the content cloning entertainment.

First Instagram Stories introduced face filters and disappearing messages similar to, the now waning in popularity, Snap Chat features. And then turned to replicating TikTok’s short-form video content onto Instagram Reels which Meta (Facebook and Instagram parent company) also reproduced in the Facebook environment. And slowly the functionality started to mimic TikTok in more and more ways with similar trending sounds, scrolling actions and functionality.

And now the latest reproduction is the French social media app, BeReal. BeReal has been called the ‘anti-Instagram’ app. Moving away from the highly curated and picture-perfect captures that seemingly embody Instagram, BeReal gets users to share the unfiltered realities of their day-to-day lives. Randomly once a day BeReal notifies users to post what they’re doing by snapping a picture that shows both sides of their camera. They have two minutes to post with no filters or edits available and once posted, they are able to see what their friends are doing during that same two-minute interval.

The phenomenon is growing in popularity with more than 28 million downloads and over 10 million daily active users. Not to be outdone, Instagram announced the addition of the ‘Dual’ camera feature in July 2022 which similarly allows users to capture shots with their front and back cameras at the same time.

Instagram came under fire for mimicking other social media platforms after announcing sweeping changes like the shift in prioritising video content, making videos and photos full screen and all videos would be posted to Reels. Even celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen made their displeasure publicly known with Kylie posting “Make Instagram Instagram again. (stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends.) Sincerely, everyone.” to her Instagram account. We sincerely hope Instagram is taking note because the last time Kylie posted something negative about social media giant Snap Chat, Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, lost $1.3 billion in market value within a week.

In all fairness, Instagram is not the only tech company to mimic others. In September 2022 TikTok announced that they would also be allowing users to participate in a similar camera format that is offered on BeReal’s social media platform with this new feature being called ‘TikTok Now’.

It seems this copying trend is here to stay and we continue to enjoy the fruits of the continued rivalry. As the saying goes, “there is nothing new under the sun” so let the sun keep on shining brightly.

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