TikTok Looks to Take on Instagram Directly with ‘Whee’ Photo Sharing App

A man and a woman sitting on a sofa, each using their smartphones. the man's phone, held in his hand, displays the tiktok logo on its screen. focus on the man's phone screen.

While Instagram is known for copying competitors’ features, it’s TikTok now copying Instagram with its new “Whee” app.

TikTok parent company ByteDance reportedly launched a new photo-sharing app called Whee, as spotted by APKMirror founder Artem Russakovskii.

“Whee is a new social app created to keep you connected with your close friends through life’s spontaneous moments,” reads the app’s Google Play Store listing, which Russakovskii shared. “Capture and share real-life photos that only your friends can see, allowing you to be your most authentic self. Whee is the best place for close friends to share life moments.”

A smartphone screen displays a camera interface with a photo of an architectural arch structure. Text on the screen says, "Swipe left for filters." The background is a gradient of pink and purple, and above the phone is the text, "Capture life moments.

Screenshots included on the Google Play Store page also show a similar user interface to that of Instagram, including a messaging feature, likes and comments on posts, and a camera viewfinder that offers filters. These are basic features to be sure, but they show an overall similarity between Whee and Meta-owned Instagram.

A smartphone screen showing the Whee app with an image of a building adorned with pink balloons. Text reads "Share with friends only" on the left and "Like and comment only with friends" on the right. The right screen displays a chat with friend comments below the image.

Whee is available in “over a dozen countries,” according to Russakovskii, though it is not yet live in the United States at the time of publication. The developer is listed as TikTok Pte. Ltd., which also lists TikTok and other related apps. So far, Whee has only been downloaded just over 1,000 times, compared to the main TikTok app’s more than 1 billion downloads on the Play Store. It’s unclear how TikTok or ByteDance will push the app or if it’s just another experiment from a social media company trying to keep its competitive edge.

Further, this isn’t even TikTok’s first attempt at mimicking Instagram.

“In April, the company started rolling out an image-sharing app called TikTok Notes,” The Verge reports.

At the time, the social media company announced “TikTok Notes is available for download and limited testing in Australia and Canada,” in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Over the last few months, TikTok hasn’t taken off or seen much of a push from the larger company either. It remains to be seen how the platform will continue either app and whether it will continue with two separate entities that seem to do the same things.

It’s also important to note that TikTok’s attempt to recreate some of Instagram’s appeal is not one-sided. Instagram has borrowed features from TikTok as well, most notably its short-form video posts “Reels.”

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.