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TikTok Now is the latest attempt to clone BeReal

If you liked BeReal and its daily post prompts, TikTok now offers a new feature based on a similar concept.

On Thursday, TikTok announced its own take on daily prompts via a series of tweets. Called TikTok Now, the new feature is expected to send daily notifications to users that prompt them to post a short (10 seconds) video or photo of what they’re currently doing.

Say hello to TikTok Now: a new feature for you to connect and create with friends. pic.twitter.com/rYcd599MVB

— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 15, 2022

TikTok also published a blog post announcement with more details on the new feature. TikTok Now allows users to capture a photo or video of what they’re doing right now to share with their friends. But interestingly, the feature uses both of your front and back cameras whether you choose to create a photo or video post with it.

The result is a post that overlays a selfie of you (taken by the front-facing camera) on top of the photo or video you captured (of the moment you wanted to share) with the rear-facing camera. The selfie ends up being a small thumbnail image located in the top-left corner of your Now post. And yes, it bears a strong resemblance to a BeReal post.

In terms of availability, users in the U.S. should now be able to access TikTok Now via the TikTok app. But the blog post also noted that for users “in other regions,” the new feature “may be available as a new TikTok Now app, too.”

Digital Trends contacted TikTok for clarification on the point about a stan-alone TikTok Now app, and TikTok responded, saying that users in other regions (outside of the U.S.) may be able to access TikTok Now via the following ways: the TikTok app, a downloadable new TikTok Now app, or in both formats. TikTok Now is expected to start rolling out today, with a worldwide rollout taking place over the coming weeks.

Two mobile screenshots side by side on a white background, showing the new TikTok Now feature.
TikTok

I tried out TikTok Now on an Android device and can confirm that it is available on that platform. If TikTok Now has rolled out to you, you should be able to see a new Now icon at the bottom of your screen, in between the Home and Plus Sign icons.

The feature is easy to use, but you’ll need to work quickly: The part of it that takes a selfie of you seems automatic and if you’re not careful to get yourself into an ideal pose in time, you just might capture a not-so-flattering selfie instead that gets overlaid on top of the photo or video you just took of your event. But maybe that’s the point: Showing authenticity (“being real”), even when it’s awkward.

But authenticity (or even capturing the success of BeReal) doesn’t seem to be the only goal for TikTok Now. The announcement of the new feature also mentioned a goal of encouraging TikTok users to use the app to connect more with their IRL friends. TikTok Now seems to fall in line with the app’s Friends tab which prompts users to find and connect with their in real life (IRL) and/or Facebook friends on TikTok, so that you can watch their videos in addition to watching videos from your favorite TikTok stars in the Following tab or recommended videos in your For You page.

While other apps like Instagram try to catch up with TikTok’s success by focusing on content creators and producing viral videos, TikTok appears to be doing the opposite. With its Friends tab and TikTok Now, the app is trying to capture the success of BeReal or that of its rivals like Instagram and Facebook, all of whose success is rooted in helping users maintain connections to their loved ones and friends.

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