TikTok clones rival with real-time sharing feature

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New York
CNN Business

After years of larger competitors copying TikTok, the short-form video app is now copying a newer rival.

TikTok on Thursday announced a new, real-time sharing feature modeled after BeReal, a social media platform that has recently gained traction among college students and other young people.

The feature, called TikTok Now, will send users a daily, timed push notification to post a 10-second video or still photo from their phone’s front and back cameras of what they’re doing at that moment. It’s essentially a clone of the main feature of BeReal, which sends users a daily prompt with a two-minute timer to post unedited front- and back-camera images.

“TikTok Now brings the authenticity of TikTok to a whole new creative experience that connects you with those closest to you,” the company said in a blog post announcing the new feature. TikTok said it’s currently experimenting with the feature, which is currently available inside the TikTok app to US users and as a standalone app in some other regions.

The feature plays on the desires of social media users for ephemerality and less polished posts, demand for which has also been evident in the popularity of features such as TikTok Stories and disappearing posts.

The move is also a reminder that while TikTok has emerged as a dominant force in the social media market, it is not above cloning features in an effort to stave off burgeoning competition, just as Facebook has done.

Like TikTok, Instagram announced last month it would test a BeReal copycat feature called IG Candid Challenges.