The social media app BeReal is having a moment.
This photo sharing app prompts users daily (at a different time each day) to quickly create and share a real-time image, and is the #1 download in the Apple App Store’s social networking category. And it is the seventh most popular in Google Play.
However, that success is attracting the attention of other social giants, who are quickly rushing to create their own versions of BeReal to avoid losing users.
TikTok, which itself has been imitated several times by competitors (including Instagram and YouTube), is the latest to clone the concept, announces TikTok Now on Thursday.
“TikTok Now invites you and your friends to capture what you’re doing in the moment with the front and back cameras of your device,” the company said in a statement. “You will receive a daily prompt to capture a 10-second video or a static photo to easily share what you’re up to.”
In the US, the feature will be included in the TikTok app, but other regions may need to download a separate app to participate. As with BeReal, those videos are shared with the community that the user selects.
TikTok isn’t the first to swipe BeReal’s idea. Last month it was leaked that: meta worked on Candid Challenges for Instagram, which follows the daily prompt-and-immediate turnaround formula. A spokesperson confirmed the position to londonbusinessblog.comsaying, “This feature is an internal prototype and is not tested externally.”
It’s certainly a confirmation of BeReal’s central concept, although the company already knew it had a hit on its hands. BeReal has been downloaded more than 20 million times since it debuted. The French startup was founded in 2020 by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat and is especially popular among university students.
Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but in business it can also be a hurdle—sometimes an insurmountable one. So, will the move from TikTok and a possible Meta end to BeReal’s growth trajectory?
BeReal raised a Series B round of $85 million in May, quadrupling its valuation to more than $600 million. according to Business Insider. Those aren’t Meta or TikTok numbers, but it’s not unimportant.
However, the social media landscape is littered with the corpses of companies that have been labeled the next big thing. Do you remember Vine? Meerkat? Yak Yak?
Just a year ago, Clubhouse was jealous of social media users because people were screaming for an invite. But once Meta and Twitter started to offer their own alternativeshis star begins to fade.
BeReal is currently not generating any income, and there are no BeReal influencers. (Still.) It sees itself as a return to the roots of social media, with friends interacting in an authentic way.
BeReal has a loyal user base, but given how quickly large tech companies are adopting (or outright copying) popular innovations, it could become increasingly difficult for growing companies to gain a foothold in the market.