With the success of BeReal, a new spontaneous and unfiltered social network, Instagram is working on a very similar tool – some would say a copy – in an attempt to not lose audience to the competitor. Screenshots of the possible new feature were leaked on Monday (22).
Instagram, in recent years, has become a showcase of glamorized photos, full of filters and super productions, which can negatively reflect on users’ self-esteem and mental health. BeReal tries to avoid this process: “now” photos should be taken in just two minutes, wherever you are, without any filtering or digital manipulation.
It’s a surprise daily challenge, which can be requested by the app at any time; posts disappear after 24 hours (i.e. no feed or stalking, just “stories”).
With this authenticity footprint, the network has seen a 315% growth in 2022 alone. Apparently, this messed with the ego of Meta (the parent company of Instagram and Facebook), who would be testing a BeReal-inspired feature called “IG Candidate challenges” (Sincere Challenges from IG).
Who discovered the news was the developer Alessandro Paluzzi, known for leaking information about app updates. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed to Engadget and The Verge that it was an “internal prototype” but declined to elaborate.
The Instagram functionality has the same functionality and look as BeReal: you receive a notification asking to take a photo and you have two minutes to do so; the posted image includes the front and rear camera view — that is, a selfie and the environment you are in, one of them in a smaller frame in the top corner.
Despite so many similarities, two product designers stated on Twitter that IG Candid Challenges has been in development for about three years. Was it mere coincidence?
There is no scheduled date or even confirmation that the feature will indeed be incorporated into Instagram Stories. For now, the network continues in its “TikTokization” process, prioritizing more and more videos and suggesting content from profiles that we don’t follow.