TikTok’s BeReal clone is now available as standalone app outside the U.S. • TechCrunch

TikTok launched its BeReal clone TikTok Now as a standalone mobile app to global markets outside of the US, primarily on iOS, over the weekend. The app offers similar features to the TikTok Now experience that launched on the US TikTok app last week. But as an independent mobile app, it offers users the option to receive push notifications just for those social check-ins — even if they’ve muted their TikTok notifications.

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

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According to data from mobile intelligence company Sensor Tower, the TikTok Now app launched globally late on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Despite being a new major offering of one of the world’s most popular apps, the TikTok Now app has yet to claim a spot at the time of writing the top overall iPhone apps chart in each market.

However, it has managed to break into the top 100 iPhone social apps in five markets – Madagascar, Mozambique, Kenya, Malta and Singapore – and is in the top 500 iPhone social 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.

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There is also an Android version of the app live in Bermuda, but it doesn’t rank in any other market.

This global launch addresses TikTok’s ambitions with this new experience, shamelessly copied from top mobile app BeReal. Like BeReal, TikTok Now sends out a random push notification every day, asking users to simultaneously take a photo or video with their phone’s front-facing and outward-facing cameras. Users have a three-minute window to take their photos or up to 10-minute videos to enter. Friends can then view each other’s photos in the app’s Friends feed, or view each other’s posts in an Explore feed.

It appears that TikTok believes it may be able to gain a foothold for this social format in markets where BeReal has yet to dominate. That might be difficult though, as BeReal is currently #1 in at least 9 markets and in the top 5 overall iPhone apps in around 40 countries. However, its top markets are the US, its home market France and the UK, according to Sensor Tower data. This leaves much of the world ripe for competition. (Plus, it’s not hard to rip off a format as simple as this, we should point out.)

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TikTok declined to clarify its strategy surrounding TikTok Now, including why it decided to make TikTok Now a feature in the US but a dedicated app almost everywhere else. Instead, the company would just say it’s “experimenting” with the experience and aims to improve TikTok Now as it learns how its community is embracing the format.

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