Instagram is too superficial for you, Twitter too moody and TikTok too wild? Then maybe “BeReal” is the right social media app for you. The app puts an end to the “fake” show on social platforms and wants to show what life is really like.
Social networks became so popular mainly because you could get a glimpse of the “real” lives of friends, contacts, and celebrities. In the meantime, behind the filters, influencer campaigns, and the follower hunt on Instagram and Co., it is hardly possible to see what is real and what is fake. BeReal wants to counteract this and presents “authentic moments” from other users every day.
After Vero and Clubhouse failed, a new social media app is now trying to outperform TikTok, Instagram, and Co. – with a completely new concept.
Influencers, advertising, clickbait, Like Olympiad, follower comparison, filters, Photoshop,… Social media is a world of its own. This rarely has anything to do with reality. Every company, every private person, influencer, every band – they all try to present themselves in the best possible light. Your own life is so exciting, “look where I’ve been and what great things I’ve done”. For many, online presentation has now become a real competition. Just share a simple snapshot? If you get far too few likes, maybe the followers will jump off. By constantly comparing yourself to others, social media has become quite toxic. While the majority of people (hopefully) know that most things are fake, studies show just how badly looking at social media apps on daily basis dings our self-confidence. It has already been observed in recent years that this is slowly getting on the nerves of many and that the trend is generally moving away from social media. But TikTok in particular enjoys great popularity, not least because originality, humor, and exciting content are far more attractive than just a perfect photo. But even here you can get a head start with the right editing skills and filters.
BeReal now wants to take a completely different path – reality should be the program here.
BeReal differs from other well-known social media platforms in a number of ways, for example:
In contrast to Clubhouse, you don’t need an invitation for BeReal (currently), you can simply download the app for free.
Once a day, at a random time, you will receive a push notification from BeReal that you now have two minutes to take a photo.
So no time to dress up or find a cool spot to take pictures. For your photo, you always automatically take two pictures at the same time – one with the front camera and one with the back camera of your mobile phone. Only after you have shared your photo can you see your friends’ pictures. Similar to Snapchat, there is a map on which you can see who is where at the moment.
The BeReal feed is divided into a public feed and a feed from your friends or followers. Because of course – there are already followers – but the number of followers is not public. Instead of likes, you can respond to other people’s posts with your own reactions. The highlight, however, is that a selfie is also used here. So you can almost easily recreate your laugh emoji directly with your face. There is also a comment function and you can always view your old posts later in a kind of archive.
Just once a day in a two-minute window to take a photo? BeReal is not that strict after all. You can also share your photo afterward – however, other users will then also be shown that you shared your picture so and so many minutes too late. If you are not completely satisfied with your snapshot, you can take a new photo before sharing it – however, it will also show others how many attempts you needed.
As with Clubhouse, the hype surrounding BeReal is huge right now – especially among GenZ’s. This is also shown, for example, by the impressive number of monthly downloads in the app stores: in March 2022, the app alone was downloaded over two million times.
On the one hand, this is certainly due to the fact that it is a new platform with a new concept. In contrast to Instagram, where users are a bit annoyed by perfection and the eternal competition, with BeReal there is a risk that it will simply become boring due to the lack of filters and the like. Sure – we’re not on vacation every day in front of an impressive backdrop. And a photo of your own laptop with an Excel spreadsheet is very realistic, but at some point it just becomes boring.
It remains to be seen whether the missing glitter and bling bling that we know from other apps will be needed. Examples like Clubhouse have also shown that being successful with a new feature is not enough. It takes more to really establish itself as a social app… In addition, many see the danger that social giants such as Meta, SnapChat, or TikTok will sooner or later copy the features that make BeReal special, making the app irrelevant. And even if the user numbers are going through the roof for the time being – BeReal has to make money somehow.
How the app is financed is still unclear – but as with many other social media platforms, it is to be expected that at some point various screws will be tweaked to make money and the actual concept may also be lost.
Unlike Facebook and Co., the aim here is not to collect likes with as many filters, effects, and artificially artistic motifs as possible. Instead, only one photo contribution is possible per day. This should be a snapshot of current employment. A real look at “real life”. The app takes photos with both the main and selfie cameras at the same time. There are no filters, smileys, or other effects.
Every day, at a random time, you get a push notification from the BeReal app asking you to take a picture now. After the notification, you have two minutes for the spontaneous, unprepared recording. So there is no time for a lot of make-up, optimal lighting, and other effects that distort the motif.
Although you can also upload an image after the two-minute window, other users will be informed of the delayed upload next to the post. You also have several attempts for a photo. If the first picture is nothing, you can activate the cell phone camera again. This is also pointed out in the post. As with Snapchat, the photo will disappear after 24 hours.