Skip to main content

Instagram is prototyping a BeReal murder clone

Instagram is prototyping a BeReal murder clone

/

Its ‘IG Candid’ feature asks for a photo at a specific time of day

Share this story

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Meta has confirmed that it’s internally prototyping a new Instagram feature that’s suspiciously similar to BeReal, the social media app that’s recently exploded in popularity. The so-called “IG Candid” feature discovered by leaker Alessandro Paluzzi mirrors BeReal by prompting the user to share an authentic photo at a random time each day.

My colleague Casey Newton has taken to calling these imitators “murder clones,” because of how they appear designed to neutralize upstarts by imitating their killer features.

Paluzzi posted a screenshot with Instagram’s description of how the feature could work. “Add other’s IG Candid to your story tray. And everyday at a different time, get a notification to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes,” the screenshot reads.

For the uninitiated, that’s almost exactly how the BeReal experience is meant to work. The service, which rose to prominence last month and is currently the No. 1 free app in the iOS App Store, sends a notification to its users at a random time of day, giving them two minutes to take both a rear-facing photo and a selfie simultaneously. It’s a format that’s supposed to encourage the sharing of authentic images from people’s days, rather than the kinds of carefully curated content that Instagram is known for. 

Meta confirmed that it’s testing the IG Candid feature in a statement given to The Verge. “This feature is an internal prototype, and not testing externally,” said Meta spokesperson Christine Pai. That suggests there’s no definite timeline for when the feature might become available publicly, if it even releases at all.

But given how Meta and other social media giants have responded to other popular apps over the years, it seems safe to assume that Instagram will eventually roll out a response to BeReal if its popularity continues. After all, when Snapchat’s Stories feature became popular, Instagram rolled out a Stories feature of its own, and Reels is an obvious response to the popularity of TikTok.

Meta is far from the only tech giant to have rolled out a murder clone or two. YouTube Shorts is another transparent attempt to cash-in on the popularity of vertically shot short-form video, and Twitter was quick to roll-out Spaces in response to the popularity of Clubhouse. 

This isn’t even the first time Meta has been accused of copying BeReal. Last month, around the time BeReal was rocketing in popularity, it widely rolled out a new feature called Dual which allows you to take a photo or video from both your phone’s front and rear camera simultaneously. People were quick to point out the BeReal similarities, although Dual differs by allowing you to capture content whenever you want, rather than having to wait for a daily notification. But according to one former Instagram product designer, the Dual feature had actually been in development for several years, and it’s release around the time of BeReal’s explosion in popularity was simply “convenient.”

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Not just you

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.