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Instagram Is Having an Identity Crisis

Instagram Is Having an Identity Crisis

First came Instagram Reels, next came Instagram Candid Challenges. The Meta-owned app is reportedly testing out a feature that's very obviously inspired by BeReal, the increasingly popular app that some describe as the antithesis of Instagram.

Tech leaker Alessandro Paluzzi broke the news on Twitter, alleging that the feature — very lamely dubbed "Candid Challenges" — will send a daily notification prompting users to capture and share a real-time photo within two minutes.

Basically, Instagram is attempting to replicate the very premise of BeReal, which gives users a two-minute timeframe each day to share snapshots taken on their front and back-facing cameras. BeReal's posting window varies day-to-day and users only get one chance to delete and re-take their daily post, stipulations that encourage users to share content that's unfiltered and spur-of-the-moment — a stark contrast to Instagram, where careful curation is king.

Meta confirmed the development of Candid Challenges in a statement to Fortune. A spokesperson specified that the feature is "an internal prototype, and not testing externally."

Instagram's BeReal cosplay follows the app's controversial decision to begin emphasizing Reels, a video feature that Meta developed in an attempt to compete with TikTok. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri later walked back the changes in response to online outrage, including a viral graphic reading "Make Instagram Instagram Again" that Kim Kardashian re-posted on her Story.

As of late, Instagram's new products have been pretty transparent attempts to remain relevant by mimicking other apps. While Meta's Candid Challenges takes cues from BeReal, Mark Zuckerberg's tech empire would do well to learn another, more important lesson from its burgeoning competitor: authenticity is everything, and right now, Instagram is trying to be something it's not.