TikTok’s BeReal clone is now available as standalone app outside the US

TikTok over the weekend launched its BeReal clone, TikTok Now, as a standalone mobile app across global markets outside the U.S., largely on iOS. The app offers a similar feature set to the TikTok Now experience being introduced into the U.S. TikTok app, announced last week. But as an independent mobile app, it allows users to opt in to receive the push notifications just for these social check-ins — even if they have their TikTok notifications silenced.

While the company had noted the TikTok Now experience would be offered as its own mobile app in some markets, it hadn’t yet launched that app at the time of its announcement on Thursday, September 15, 2022. It also wasn’t clear which markets would gain access to the feature within TikTok itself or as a standalone app, or when the app would roll out.

According to data from mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the TikTok Now app launched globally late on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Despite being a new major offering from one of the world’s most popular apps, the TikTok Now app has yet to rank in the Top Overall iPhone apps chart in any market as of the time of writing.

However, it has managed to inch into the top 100 iPhone Social Networking apps in five markets — Madagascar, Mozambique, Kenya, Malta and Singapore — and it’s ranked in the Top 500 iPhone Social Networking apps in 38 countries. These include Myanmar, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Germany, Qatar, Poland, Belgium, New Zealand, Guatemala, Austria, Bahrain, South Africa, Finland, Ghana, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Greece, Ireland, Azerbaijan, Israel, Nigeria, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Algeria, Malaysia, Sweden, Italy, Morocco, Lebanon, Mexico, Denmark, Egypt, Dominican Republic and Romania.

There’s also an Android version of the app live in Bermuda, but it’s not ranking in any other markets.

This global rollout speaks to TikTok’s ambitions with this new experience, which is shamelessly copied from top mobile app BeReal. Like BeReal, TikTok Now sends a random push notification every day encouraging users to take a photo or video with their phone’s front-facing and outward-facing cameras at the same time. Users have a three-minute window to snap their photos or up to 10-minute long videos to participate. Friends can then view each others’ photos in the app’s Friends feed or they can view posts from others in an Explore feed.

It seems that TikTok believes it may be able to gain traction for this social format in markets where BeReal has yet to dominate. That could be difficult, however, as BeReal is No. 1 in at least nine markets right now, and in the top five Overall iPhone apps in around 40 countries. Its top markets, however, are the U.S., its home market of France and the U.K., Sensor Tower data indicates. That leaves a large part of the globe ripe for competition. (Plus, it’s not hard to rip off a format as basic as this, we should point out.)

TikTok declined to clarify its strategy around TikTok Now, including why it has decided to make TikTok Now a feature in U.S., but its own app nearly everywhere else. Instead, the company would only say that it’s “experimenting” with the experience and aims to enhance TikTok Now as it learns how its community embraces the format.