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Get Real! How one App is changing the way we use Social Media

Updated: Apr 9


Author:  Veronica Agapanti

Publication date: 04.04.2024


BeReal is a social media app that aims to restore some authenticity to our social media posts. No filters, followers, or preparation are permitted on the app. It's all about taking images in the moment and being "real".

 

App users receive a daily reminder at various times of the day stating “⚠️Time to BeReal⚠️”. As soon as you receive the message, you have two minutes to shoot a selfie and a rear camera shot of what you are doing right now. If you chose to take a picture later in the day when you look better or are doing something enjoyable, all of your friends will see that you waited and aren't being genuine -- where's the fun in that?



How popular is BeReal?


BeReal was first introduced in January 2020, but it didn't take off until 2022, with over 56 million downloads that year, according to The Washington Post. The United States has the most users of the app among its worldwide audience.

 

In July 2022, BeReal became the number one app on the Apple App Store in the United States. BeReal ranked 21st in the App Store's social networking category in January 2024, only behind Skype. BeReal was reportedly projected to reach 23 million daily active users by January 2024.


What is the purpose of BeReal?


Because you must shoot images in the moment, the photos you publish and view are not photoshopped, cropped, or created to depict an idealized, unrealistic portrayal of a person. If done correctly, the photographs provide an accurate portrayal of a person's daily life. At best, it resembles social media but lacks the glossy, artificially controlled edge.


How do you shoot a BeReal?


Posting a BeReal is a straightforward procedure because the photographs are intended to be as real as possible.


Simply launch the app, take a selfie with the front camera, and then a shot of your surroundings using the rear camera. You have two minutes to retake the shot as many times as you like until you achieve the desired image.


What do you post in BeReal?


When requested, BeReal allows you to publish photographs in the two-box, front and rear camera format. There is no ability to publish more material, such as other images, because it would detract from the app's "in the moment" experience. You may personalize the post by including a caption and specifying your location.

 

You may also share the Behind the Scenes (BTS) of your BeReal, which records the seconds before a BeReal photo is taken and makes a movie that plays on your friends' timelines when they long press on the picture you shared, much like a live photo does. This function is enabled by default, however it may be deactivated in the settings.


Can you gain followers on BeReal?


On BeReal, you cannot have followers. Similar to the early days of social networking sites, you have friends rather than followers on the app, and only these chosen groups of individuals may view your updates. This restriction relieves the strain of having to maintain a flawless public image and restores the enjoyment of merely sharing things with your pals.



Authenticity is Key: How BeReal is revolutionising Social Media


Social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok gave rise to influencer marketing and increased the demand to perform at all times. The BeReal app, on the other hand, encourages users to "show your friends who you really are, for once," by removing filters and the need to stage, overthink, or manipulate photos.

 

Furthermore, due of its speedy "take your picture in 2 minutes and go" philosophy, you will not waste hours reading around the app, as you would on TikTok. You snap your BeReal photo, check your friends' BeReals, and continue with your day. It's actually great to have an app that doesn't suck up your time.


Relevant for companies?


A new social networking platform appeals to both individuals and businesses. However, it is difficult to establish oneself on BeReal since it violates the founders' primary notion. Paid advertising, company accounts, and editing/planning tools? No way.

 

Companies should not be deterred by this, and instead depend on their inventive spirit. The usage statistics alone are an argument in their favor.


Should you download BeReal?


BeReal may be the closest thing to an authentic social media experience. If you are always experiencing FOMO or comparing yourself to others, this app might be a suitable option for you. BeReal allows you to keep up with what your friends are doing while also truly documenting your own daily life. However, if you are not willing to commit to publishing every day, this app may not be for you.

 

BeReal may not be the app that will save us all from traditional social media, but it is a start in the right way and it has prompted change worldwide on how we see and engage with social media.

 

The question of whether BeReal is going to keep growing in the face of influencer culture is debatable, but users hope that others will join the app's expanding fanbase and abandon filters forever.


 

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