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‘Candid Stories’ — Instagram’s take on the viral BeReal app

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This Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, photo shows the Instagram app icon on the screen of a mobile device in New York.

This Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, photo shows the Instagram app icon on the screen of a mobile device in New York.

Jenny Kane, Associated Press

On Tuesday, Instagram announced several new app features that are set to release in the near future, including “Candid Stories” — a feature similar to the viral BeReal app, according to a statement by Meta.

What are Candid Stories? Meta wrote that Candid Stories is a new form of Instagram story, where users will be prompted to post a “candid” photo to their story once a day when they get a notification to do so.

  • Candid Stories is “a new way for you and your friends to capture and share what you’re doing right now on a story that’s only visible to those who also share their own.” A similar feature is also being tested on Facebook stories, Meta added.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, Candid Stories will first be tested in South Africa, but it’s unknown when it will be available in other countries.

BeReal: If this concept looks familiar, it’s because it is. BeReal is a social media app that was made in 2020 with a mission of authenticity. Users only post unfiltered photos, a contrast from the highly curated newsfeeds we see on other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, according to previous Deseret reporting.

  • BeReal gained virality this year, with over 53 million downloads, per Mashable, and was awarded the Apple App Store’s “iPhone App of the Year Winner.”
  • How it works: “Once a day, the app sends you a notification, telling you to post your BeReal for the day — a photo of whatever you’re doing at the time, whether it's lying in bed or making dinner,” Gitanjali Poonia wrote for Deseret.
  • “You only have two minutes to prepare. When you take the photo, it’s going to capture from the front- and back-facing camera at the same time,” Poonia added. “No filters. No retouching.”
  • Deja vu? The Wall Street Journal calls Candid Stories the “latest example of Instagram mimicking other popular apps’ features to grow and maintain its userbase.”
  • In 2016, Instagram adopted stories, a feature that Snapchat coined, and Reels, an attempt at short-form videos that echo the form of a TikTok video, per the Journal.
  • In September, TikTok released a similar feature called TikTok Now, where users receive a daily prompt to post an unfiltered photo or 10-second video.

Reactions: People on Twitter have definitely noticed a pattern in Instagram’s new Candid Stories feature — some accusing the platform of copying BeReal.

  • One user tweeted, “Instagram launching candid stories as if we don’t know what beReal is ... what social media idea to steal next?”

  • Another added, “Instagram’s NEW ‘Candid’ feature ... BeReal clone.”

  • “Candid Stories is Instagram’s BeReal clone. ... Imagine being an American company that was purchased for $1 billion but the only thing it’s good for now is ripping off other apps,” said another Twitter user.