(CNN) — Over the years, Facebook has used Instagram to compete with rivals like Snapchat and TikTok by cloning its unique features. Now, a newer and fast-growing service appears to have caught the company’s eye: BeReal.
Instagram is testing a feature called “IG Candid Challenges” (which translates to Spanish as “IG Desafíos Sinceros”) that seems surprisingly similar to the core concept of BeReal, an app that has been called anti-Instagram for its focus on making more “authentic” posts. On BeReal, users are prompted at a random time each day for, you guessed it, “BeReal” which translates to “Be Real.” Users then have two minutes to take a photo and post it without filters to show what they’re doing at the time.
Similarly, the Candid Challenges option invites Instagram users “every day at a different time” to share a photo to their Stories within a two-minute period, according to the new feature’s photos. shared on social networks. The feature also appears to take a photo from both cameras—a selfie and a photo from the rear camera at the same time—which is one of BeReal’s distinguishing features.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business that the IG Candid Challenge feature is being tested internally, without offering any additional information. “This feature is an internal prototype and is not tested externally,” said Christine Pai, a spokeswoman for Meta.
BeReal was launched at the end of 2019 but gained immense popularity earlier this year. The app has been downloaded 43.3 million times since its launch, with more than 40 million such installs by 2022, according to data from Apptopia. This summer, BeReal got the first place in the Apple App Store in the United States. It was founded by an entrepreneur in France, but Apptopia data indicates that the United States is its main market.
BeReal did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment.
Earlier this summer Instagram launched a feature called “Dual” much like one of the popular features of BeReal. The feature allows users to record videos using the phone’s front and rear cameras simultaneously.
In recent years, Facebook and its parent company, Meta, have come under fire from lawmakers and some users for trying to beat the competition by cloning their core features. Last month, Instagram faced backlash from users, including members of the Kardashian family, who expressed frustration that the app was becoming too much like TikTok. Instagram finally rolled back some of its changes.
By going after BeReal, Meta may be struggling to retain younger users, who seem to have flocked to the newer service. But Meta must also confront the reasons why some find the app attractive. A BeReal user and Georgetown University student he told CNN earlier this year who thinks the app is popular because it’s an antidote to the pressures to look perfect online.