Instagram has responded to the breakthrough of social media app BeReal by copying the function of the app. BeReal-like options are currently being tested by Instagram. Instagram’s behavior fits into a pattern in which more than ten apps have already been copied.By Tim Wijkman
BeReal opposes Instagram and sells itself as a kind of anti-Instagram: without perfect pictures, but with photos that show reality – even if it is a bit boring and ugly.
Users only take one photo per day for their followers. This has to be done immediately when the app asks for it, so that followers get an unfiltered view into someone’s ‘now’. That idea catches on. BeReal is already being used in the Netherlands 15 percent of all young people used.. Instagram test a similar function now.
Facebook parent company Meta, which also includes Instagram, has been the largest social media company in the world for years. In the top ten most downloaded apps in the world according to market researcher Apptopia four apps from Meta: WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. The company has a lot to lose if a competitor steps up.
Meta copies new apps
Meta has copied the capabilities of various new apps in recent years. This means that Meta is hindering the apps in their breakthrough.
Market regulators in several countries are conducting research into Meta’s working methods. This is because Meta’s behavior can be interpreted as hindering competition or as an abuse of power.
Snapchat and TikTok lookalikes
The clearest examples of Meta’s copying behavior are Snapchat and TikTok. After Snapchat quickly became popular among young people in 2016 because of Snapchat Stories, Facebook also provided all its apps with a Stories function.
TikTok’s breakthrough in 2019 was answered by Facebook with the introduction of Reels. Just like on TikTok, short (music) videos can be posted on Facebook and Instagram.
Also copies of Periscope, Meerkat, Signal, Foursquare and Tinder
But it doesn’t stop there. Facebook has also copied unique features from other apps. In 2015, Facebook Live and Instagram Live were introduced. This allowed users to ‘go live’ with a video, just like in Periscope and Meerkat.
In 2016 WhatsApp started with the encrypt messages. At the time, that security only had messaging app Signal. The Foursquare app, which can be used to ‘check in’ on places, was added to Facebook under the name Facebook Places. Dating app Tinder was also copied and placed in Facebook Dating.
Facebook has tried to take the wind out of its sails with Facebook Gaming. The business communication app Slack was imitated with Workplace by Facebook and Facebook Groups is seen as the answer to the discussion forum Reddit. Audio Rooms was introduced last year as Clubhouse quickly gained popularity.