Social media in today’s times has become a necessity for us. So much so that we have become excessively dependent on it. Not a minute goes by, and we pick up our phones to check up on the latest updates. From using our phones first thing in the morning to the last thing before we sleep, we have become overly attached to our phones and to social media.
Social media has its benefits, it helps us to be ‘social’, makes us more aware of things going on in the world, connects us to people from across the world and makes information easy to access. But with its benefits, it also has many negatives. Due to the anonymity of social media, it can easily be faked – people can catfish, use filters or manipulate their images to look a certain way, or just pretend to be something they’re not to gain attention from people. Another negative impact of social media is self- comparison. We’ve all been there before, seeing people’s life on social media being so happening and exciting and feeling jealous and sad that our life isn’t like theirs. We see people share posts where they are happy or a time where they are having a good time and start comparing their life with ours, but that doesn’t mean that they are always happy. We only see what people want us to see because social media is not real life, though often we fail to keep that in mind. This type of self-comparison can make us feel very lonely and unhappy.
Fighting this very notion of social media, a new app has been in the buzz for quite some time. BeReal is a new social media app that focuses on more genuine and in-the- moment content and encourages the users to ‘be real’ unlike other popular social media apps. This app has been a rave and has quickly become a favorite of many. So, here’s all you need to know about the BeReal app.
BeReal is a French photo-sharing social media app that lets you post filter-free photos once a day. It is developed by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau and was released in 2020. Despite being released in 2020, it wasn’t until early 2021 that the app started gaining popularity. Today it is among the top social media apps in the world. The key focus of BeReal is to inspire people stay natural and authentic. With its tagline - “BeReal: Your Friends for Real”, it encourages its users to share their moments in real-time without filtering, combining the candid and accessible experiences of Instagram and TikTok with the absence of filters and edits bringing back a little authenticity to our social media posts.
BeReal skyrocketed in popularity in 2022, with over 56 million downloads. It has over 10 million daily active users and over 21.6 million monthly users. BeReal, as the name implies, promises a more 'authentic' and realistic social media experience unlike other platforms. Due to which, it has been dubbed as the 'anti-Instagram' app.
What is it exactly and how does it work?
BeReal is a photo-sharing social media app that urges you to abandon your habit of filtering or editing everything you post. The app sends its users a daily notification asking them to post a picture of whatever they are doing at that moment within two minutes. The timing of this notification varies so that you can take a picture without retouching, editing, or fabricating. You can still post after the two minutes have passed, but your friends will know you posted late. Unlike any other social media app, BeReal shares your photo using both front and back cameras to capture real-time moments and images. So, when you take a selfie, the foreground will be automatically captured. You can retake your photos as many times as you want, but the app will display the number of attempts to your friends.
Once the photos are posted, you can go through your friends' posts and photos. Interestingly, you can only see other people's posts when you post or share your own. In contrast to other social media apps, you cannot simply "like" a post and move on. To interact with a post, you must take a selfie making an emoji reaction or leave a comment. This uniqueness of BeReal has what made the app so popular among Gen Z and Millennials.
How Do You Get Started on BeReal?
Here are the simple steps to get started on BeReal:
Step 1: First, make an account. Download the app and enter your full name, phone number, birthday, and username to get started. BeReal is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Step 2: After you have created your account, log in with your username and password. On the app, you can sync your contacts and find friends.
Step 3: Be prepared to take a selfie as soon as you create an account. Take your first no-filter shot by clicking on the notification BeReal sends you.
Step 4: Add a caption to the photo before sharing it. You can also choose whether to share your photo with your friends or with everyone.
Features of BeReal
Realmojis: Instead of using emojis to respond, BeReal has a new feature called RealMoji. You can use the emoji to respond to your friends' posts with your selfie. RealMojis can be accessed by tapping anywhere in the app and selecting the emoji button. Then, choose any reaction and apply it to your selfie. However, you cannot respond to your own posts and must instead respond to the posts and photos of others.
Memories: When a new BeReal is captured, the app deletes older posts. To view older posts, go to the memories section, which is accessible from the profile page. Memories are private to you and cannot be shared outside of the app. You can, however, share the image by clicking on it individually.
Dual Camera Mode: Another intriguing feature of BeReal is that it simultaneously activates the front and back cameras when taking a photo. As a result, you can take a selfie with your surroundings. You may retake as many times as necessary, but you must finish before the 2-minute timer expires.
Zero Followers: BeReal, unlike other popular social media apps, has NO FOLLOWERS. There could be any number of friends who need to post images in order to see your posts. The app does not encourage users to become followers or influencers.
Discovery: Discovery is an important feature of BeReal . Users can view publicly shared posts using this feature. Anyone can choose whether their photos are public or only visible to their friends. If you want to meet new people on social media, this is an exciting tab to start with.
Pros and Cons of BeReal
Pros of the BeReal app:
- Simple interface
- Includes a map to help you find public posts
- Allows comments and chats
- Is free to use
- It helps to reduce social media addiction in some ways
- With its no filter policy, it helps to fight self-comparison
- You post everyday activities which helps to decrease FOMO
Cons of the BeReal app:
• Not a good platform for influencers
• The app is only enticing when your friends are on it with you; otherwise, looking at strangers' photos will eventually lose your interest
• Privacy is compromised because the app focuses on real-time moments and unfiltered photos
• Even if the photos are taken in the moment and to be real, it can easily get competitive and you may feel the pressure of putting up quality content within the 2 minutes given
How is it changing the social media scene?
BeReal has become the new favorite spot-on social media app for Gen Z. These young minds prefer to portray their real and authentic self on social media instead of the picture-perfect, filtered filled version that is expected of them on apps like Instagram. In recent times, more people have started to accept their true self and don’t fall prey to the pressure of being perfect on social media. BeReal gives Gen Z just what they needed i.e., an app that helps them to accept themselves and get an insight into the day to day lives of their friends. In addition, BeReal has zero ads and zero followers which makes it impossible for companies and influencers to promote their products.
Seeing the soaring popularity of BeReal, other social media apps have also started to develop their apps accordingly. TikTok introduced its new feature TikTok Now which serves to “foster authentic and spontaneous connections on TikTok”. Similarly, Instagram launched a dual-camera feature for stories that lets you record or photograph something while also showing your reaction. Both apps have taken inspiration from BeReal and developed their versions of the same popular features.
Now, whether BeReal is the ‘it’ app for this generation or if it is safe to use or not is totally up to the user. Just like using any social media app, at the end of the day it is on us how we want to use it and how open, discrete, authentic, or fake we want to portray ourselves.
Is The BeReal App Private and Safe?
The app post is only shared with friends. The posts, however, you can choose to make your posts public on the Discover Timeline.
Can you gain followers on BeReal?
You cannot have followers on BeReal. The app has friends rather than followers, and only these select groups of people can see your posts. This alleviates the pressure of maintaining a perfect public image and restores the joy of sharing content with your closest friends.
What happens to your BeReal after you post it?
You can view all of your BeReals that have been archived. One of the most useful features of BeReal is the ability to view a collection of your daily posts. You will be able to see a calendar layout with your photos from each day you completed the task in your memories.
Can The Notification Time Be Changed on BeReal?
No, the BeReal notification time cannot be changed. This is due to the fact that users cannot change the time on their own and must rely on the app's time. If you delete your BeReal two times in a row, you will not be able to take another one until the next BeReal Notification.
How do I delete a BeReal?
To delete your BeReal, open it in full preview mode by tapping on it. Then, in the top right corner, tap on the three-dot menu, which will display the option "Delete my BeReal," and click on it. Select a reason for deleting your BeReal and then tap "Yes, I'm sure," and your post will be deleted.