Copycat Instagram Does It Again with Dual |

Copycat Instagram Does It Again with Dual

The new feature lets you record simultaneously from both front and rear camera and appears eerily similar to a similar feature on BeReal


Instagram has always found it convenient to add features to its service that were popular in competing apps, especially after the photo and video sharing social platform was acquired by Facebook (now Meta) in 2012. Remember Stories? Remember the TikTok type Reels? This time it's a feature that allows both cameras to shoot simultaneously. 

The new feature on Reels is called Dual and appears eerily similar to what's on offer on BeReal, a two-year old social app that currently reigns No.1 on App Store. In case you haven't heard of them, BeReal was founded by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau and has marketed itself as an anti-Instagram brand. 

The company sends out notifications across the day telling us that "It's time to BeReal" after which users have two minutes to take a picture of whatever they're doing at the moment with the app leaving you no choice but to use both front and rear cameras. The founders believe that this generates authenticity, which they claim is now absent on Reels and even TikTok. 

While Instagram Dual is an obvious rip-off from BeReal, even these guys faced some flak for aping an app called Frontback that had some star users such as Ashton Kutcher and Jack Dorsey. Even that app allowed users to activate both cameras at once, which is why Twitter chased it for some time. However, the company folded up as user interest waned very fast. 

Of course, one can question whether aping a feature that isn't exactly hot makes sense for Instagram. We think they've possibly missed the real reason BeReal is popular. Like Wordle, the app makes the sharing a ritual - something that one does with friends each day. It really doesn't matter what one is sharing, it's just about connecting over a social network each day. 

The fact that even BeReal faced some flak over its so-called authenticity proves that users tend to fall in and out of love with such features quite quickly. Critics say that users can miss that two minute window without facing any penalty, which means they can wait for the right moment before they switch on both cameras. How's this authentic, ask the critics. 

Whether BeReal makes it big in the real world or not, what is of concern here is Instagram's own journey. Why would an app with over two billion monthly active users want to ape every new entrant who aspires to compete with it? Does it mean that even a decade after Facebook took it over, the company is yet to find it's own space on the social platforms? 

TAGS: instagram, bereal, META