Social media

After using BeReal “anti-social media” app for 5 months, I am confident that no Instagram clone will be able to replicate its authenticity

Screenshots of the BeReal social media appApple App Store

  • The “anti-social media” app BeReal has risen to the top of the app store charts this summer.

  • It gives users 2 minutes a day to post candid photos – no filters allowed and limited retakes.

  • Now, Instagram is internally testing a similar feature called “IG Candid,” Meta confirmed.

You know an app has officially been created when Instagram develops a copy feature.

Monday, a mobile developer and tech sleuth named Alessandro Paluzzi posted screenshots of what it says is a prototype feature called “IG Candid” that gives users two minutes a day to post snapshots taken with a dual camera.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The feature appears to be a near-replica of BeReal, the French “anti-social media” photo-sharing app that’s currently ranked as the #1 free app in Apple’s App Store. A Meta spokesperson confirmed to Insider that “IG Candid” is an internal prototype that is not externally tested.

The move comes as no complete surprise – Mark Zuckerberg’s empire has long been known for crush new competitors by copying themas told by Samantha Delouya of Insider.

Last month, Instagram quietly launched a “dual camera” feature last month mimicking BeReal. Around the same time, celebrities Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian shared a post titled “Make Instagram Instagram Again” which asked the app to “Stop trying to be TikTok” – inciting a answer from Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri himself.

I’ve been using BeReal almost daily for just over 5 months now and it’s become one of my favorite ways to stay in touch with friends without the pressure or addictive nature of other social media platforms.

If Instagram’s goal is to lure younger users away from BeReal and back to Instagram with the feature, I’m sure they won’t succeed. The app is spontaneous and authentic, two inherently anti-Instagram traits.

Here are my key takeaways from using BeReal for nearly six months now, and why I enjoy it so much more than other social media apps.

Good things

Screenshots of the BeReal app

My BeReal photos are a mix of fun selfies and boring snapshots, like this photo of a chaotic Amtrak trip on the right.Insider/Hannah Towey

When I asked my friends why they post pictures daily on BeReal, one of them simply replied: “It’s funny”.

Once a day, at random times, users receive a notification that they have two minutes to take a candid photo and post it to the BeReal feed.

It’s a different type of selfie than you’re used to. The rear and front cameras shoot simultaneously, making it harder to pick the perfect frame.

That’s the whole point of the app. True to its name, there are no filters, limited retakes and no time to pose. My posts alternated between tired selfies at work and blurry images of watching a basketball game with friends.

I very rarely post on Instagram. Over the past year, my timeline has been caught up in the “casual Instagram” feed (candid fake photos that are aesthetically unsightly) and influencer territory.

Especially in a city like New York, I personally find it exhausting to constantly post on social media. The stories are slightly better thanks to their impermanence, but really only show the highlights of my life.

BeReal is so much the opposite that it’s a different kind of bullying. Do I really want everyone to see my pajamas? Am I confident enough to show everyone an awkward, poorly lit selfie? To expose my messy bedroom corners and my unmade bed?

These worries were mostly alleviated by the fact that I currently don’t have any distant relatives or random acquaintances as friends on the app. While I have just over 1,000 followers on Instagram, I only have 26 friends on BeReal, and I’d like it to stay that way.

It’s by no means perfect, but as my friend said, it’s fun. I see photos of my friend from California who is otherwise a social media ghost daily, and while my feed is pretty boring during the work week, it normalizes that most people who aren’t influencers have jobs office from 9 to 5.

Scattered among the articles on the minutia of the week, there are also raw snippets of pleasure. A walk with friends, a family dinner, playing with a pet. But my favorite thing is that I barely spend any time on the app. Two minutes to post, five minutes to scroll, all without risking harm to your mental state — a danger apps like Instagram they have been proven to exacerbate.

The annoying parts

Most of the time, I miss the 2 minute window BeReal gives you to post because I wasn’t on my phone at the time. This doesn’t mean you can’t post that day – your photo will just include how late you took it.

At first, this seems like a shameful tactic to miss the “real” window for a spontaneous candid. But most people don’t post at that exact time, and I don’t think anyone cares how “late” your photo is.

Another odd detail is that your friends can see how many times you’ve retaken the photo, even if it was just to exclude your inbox details captured by the rear camera.

Sometimes I didn’t want to post another photo to my desk, especially when I had something fun planned later in the day that I’d rather share. It’s totally possible to choose when to post, but I felt weirdly guilty if I knowingly skipped the allotted “BeReal” time for a more engaging window.

Ultimately, I don’t think it will become as popular as its social media counterparts because it’s not super addictive. But at least until influencers take over, I’d choose BeReal over suffering through another faux-casual Instagram carousel every day.

Read the original article at Business Intern