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Instagram Is Prototyping a New Feature That Appears To Copy the Best Parts of BeReal

3 minute read

The hype surrounding the fledgling social media platform BeReal hasn’t escaped the attention of Instagram, it seems.

Instagram confirmed to TIME on Tuesday that it’s internally prototyping a new “Candid Challenges” feature that will prompt users to capture and share a photo of their surroundings during a different two-minute window each day. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s nearly identical to the concept behind BeReal, a social media app touted as “the anti-Instagram” for the way it encourages candid photos taken once a day.

The prototype of the Instagram feature was first made public by Alessandro Paluzzi, a mobile developer known for his ability to unearth apps’ unpublished features. Paluzzi tweeted out a screenshot with information about Candid Challenges on Aug. 22.

He noted that, like BeReal, it would require users to take a snapshot with their front and back cameras simultaneously to create their daily post.

A spokesperson for Instagram parent company Meta told TIME that the feature is not something the platform is currently testing outside the company. Meta did not say when the feature would be released, if at all.

BeReal declined to comment on the news of the prototype.

Read more: BeReal Won’t Save Us From Social Media—Yet

BeReal’s popularity has exploded in recent months. The number of times BeReal was downloaded increased 86% month-over-month from June to July, with digital analytics platform Sensor Tower reporting that global downloads of the app reached 22.8 million.

On BeReal, which launched in late 2019, users are allowed to post just once a day, at a random time, when prompted by the app. Photos are supposed to be unposed and typically more candid.

BeReal’s push for unedited, unfiltered, and less-frequent posting has struck a chord with Gen Zers and Millennials in particular. As of June, 55% of the app’s users were in the 16-24 age group and 43% were in the 25-44 age group, according to data platform data.ai.

Monday’s news comes on the heels of upheaval at Meta. The company is redesigning its Facebook and Instagram apps to compete with TikTok, encouraging more short, shareable videos—a campaign that’s faced major user backlash. Now, some BeReal supporters are speaking out against Instagram’s reported attempt to copy the budding app.

“Why should Instagram just get to mimic every other platform’s features while the rest of us try to keep up with every single update?” wrote Twitter user Jes Cervantes on Tuesday.

In July, Niklas Myhr, a clinical associate professor at Chapman University known online as “The Social Media Professor,” told TIME that it was likely another app would try to copy BeReal.

If other social media apps offered comparable features, Myhr said, “I worry about BeReal not having a real lock-in effect on users because a lot of people might feel they can do this on other platforms.”

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com