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TikTok Pulls the Plug on BeReal Clone, TikTok Now Feature to End

TikTok bids farewell to its BeReal-inspired feature as it announces the discontinuation of TikTok Now

TiKTok Transparency Centre

TikTok, the popular short-form video sharing platform owned by ByteDance, has started notifying its users about the discontinuation of its feature, TikTok Now. Numerous Twitter users across languages have shared screenshots of these notifications, which indicate that ByteDance is “updating the TikTok experience and discontinuing TikTok Now.” The news of this closure comes roughly nine months after the feature’s official launch, with no clear date yet confirmed for the shutdown.

TikTok Now made its debut in September, aiming to promote “authentic and spontaneous connections on TikTok.” However, it was difficult to overlook that the format closely resembled that of BeReal, which became a viral phenomenon the previous year. This feature encouraged users to seize a moment once daily using both the front and rear cameras of their phones.

The distinguishing factor of TikTok Now was its ability to support up to 10-second-long videos, besides just still photos. In the US, it was incorporated into the main TikTok app, while ByteDance launched a separate TikTok Now app in other regions globally. Social media consultant Matt Navarra confirmed the news of the feature’s discontinuation within the primary TikTok app on iOS.

While the announcement doesn’t provide an explicit reason for terminating TikTok Now, it’s hard not to speculate that the decline in BeReal’s popularity played a role. The New York Times, in April, reported a 61% decline in BeReal’s daily active users between October 2022 and March 2023, based on third-party data. According to this report, user figures plummeted from roughly 15 million to under six million.

Although BeReal contested these figures, claiming it has over 20 million daily active users worldwide, the platform seems to be receiving fewer mentions on social media these days. The consensus appears to be that the viral trend has moved past BeReal.

Notably, TikTok isn’t the only social media platform that has tried to introduce BeReal-style features. Snapchat unveiled a dual-camera feature in August, offering more editing and layout options, and ditching the daily notifications and limitations of BeReal. Instagram, too, is testing its version of the feature, dubbed “Candid Stories.” Casey Newton, my colleague, coined the term “murder clones” for these mimicry features, viewing them as strategies by dominant social media platforms to neutralize potential competitors by copying their unique offerings.

A representative for TikTok has yet to comment on the matter. At the time of writing, TikTok’s support page about TikTok Now remains unchanged, with no reference to the impending shutdown.

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