You know when someone does something cool and interesting and totally unique, and then the rich, white, popular girl does the exact same thing and steals their thunder? Well, that's a good way of thinking about Instagram and its unhinged desire to integrate signature features from other social media apps into a kind of tech world Frankenstein's monster.
It started back in 2016 when Instagram introduced Stories, an undeniably Snapchat-esque feature, and more recently the madness continued with the photo-sharing platform's desire to compete with TikTok by adding Reels to its design. For a moment it seemed our feeds would suffer too, with full-bleed posts and the algorithm completely disregarding who we follow in lieu of drowning us with videos from accounts we would never, not in a million years, glance twice at. But the people united out of rage, and Instagram decided to roll back the changes, for now.
Well the saga continues. According to The Verge, Instagram is currently beta testing a feature that looks an awful lot like BeReal. Meta, the company behind Instagram, are calling it IG Candid, and it works in the exact same way. Users are prompted at a random time once a day to participate by submitting a dual photo via the front and rear camera, with only two minutes to do so.
Instagram Tests BeReal Copy, ‘IG Candid Challenges’ https://t.co/DCuFCIZplI
— Ben M. Nelson (@BenMNelson) August 24, 2022
The irony is BeReal was created as the antithesis to Instagram. Its French founder, developer Alexis Barreyat has tapped into our growing disillusionment with apps like Instagram, standing in as something that rewards the mundane, spontaneous and impromptu possibility of what social media once was, and could be again. The bottom line is that we must protect BeReal at all costs.
And to Instagram, we have this to say. Just be yourself babe. We want the authentic version of you back, in its wholly inauthentic and completely curated form. In fact, we wouldn't even mind if you regressed a little, and morphed into your 2012 version, chronological feed, Valencia filter and all.
At this stage a Meta spokesperson has said IG Candid is "an internal prototype, and not [being] testing externally". We'd like it to stay that way. Thank you very much.