The unwritten rule of the internet is that “if there’s a new social media feature, Instagram will copy it.” In the latest example, the Meta-owned social network is testing a BeReal clone feature that challenges people to post candid photos within two minutes.

Feature screenshot posted by App Explorer Alessandro Paluzzi describes “IG Candid Challenges,” one of which depicts receiving a notification at any time of the day and having 2 minutes to capture a photo share, a format pioneered by fast-growing social network BeReal.

Paluzzi’s screenshot suggests that if people participate in this challenge, the original poster can add those contributions to their own IG stories. The company is already testing the collaborative storyboard with “Add Your Sticker,” and while its latest experiment may seem like an extension of that, the description largely mirrors BeReal’s core functionality.

The company said Engadget that the experiment is “an internal prototype and not externally tested.” We’ve reached out to Instagram to learn more about its public testing plans.

Even if the feature doesn’t reach the general user population in its current form, it’s clear that the social network is interested in seeing if it can replicate some of the reasons for BeReal’s current popularity. Last month, it added a Dual Camera feature that takes a photo by combining images from the front and rear cameras.

Instagram has a history of copying features from other successful apps like Snapchat and TikTok, and in the process, many believe it has become bloated and convoluted. Users constantly complain about the app’s selection of features and algorithms. In July, the company had to bring back its algorithm-heavy feed that showed more suggested content than things your friend posted, in a move that mirrors TikTok’s way of showing content.

Although BeReal has been the center of much technical discussion, data from Apptopia shows that the app has had just over 10 million downloads in its lifetime. In comparison, Instagram reportedly has more than 2 billion monthly active users (not downloads). So there’s no direct competition right now, but the Meta-owned company probably wants to crush any threat before it becomes a mega social network.

Instagram’s latest feature test is about being BeReal

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