Have you ever heard of the BeReal app? The newest craze among the Gen Z is a social media platform called BeReal, which has quickly grown in popularity. According to data from Apptopia, downloads have increased by at least 315% this year alone.
What is BeReal?
A lot of people have been talking about how social media is so time-consuming. BeReal claims to be trying to improve the situation. How BeReal works is an interesting story. You get a notification from the app once a day. It informs you that it’s time to submit your BeReal for the day, and you have two minutes to do so. At the same time, your friends should receive a similar alert.
The goal is to photograph anything you’re doing at the time, no matter how ordinary or exciting it may be. It doesn’t matter, you could be walking towards a diner, petting a dog, or even studying for an exam.
You take one photo of what you’re doing with your back-facing camera, and at the same time, your phone takes a photo of you with your front-facing camera – surprise!
That’s all there is to it. There are no additional features or third-party applications to enhance your appearance. You may retake the photo and post it late, although your friends will know you retook the picture or posted it after the deadline has passed.
Users can look at a map to see where their friends are and discover additional BeReals that have been made public. The problem is that before you can view anyone else’s post for the day, you must first submit your own photographs.
Why BeReal is so popular?
Although the number of downloads for BeReal increased by 315 percent year to date, that isn’t the only significant number. In 2020, French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat launched the app, but at least 65% of lifetime downloads took place in the first quarter of 2022.
The program is aimed at college students with its ambassador system, and it appears to be effective. Meredith Mueller is a sophomore at the University of Kansas majoring in journalism. After hearing about BeReal from her roommate, Mueller downloaded the app.
“I downloaded it, typed my information in and then it came up with all my contacts with people that already had this. And I was like, how have I never heard of this and all these people in my contacts already have this?”
One of Mueller’s favorite social media applications is BeReal.
“It’s just so fun to, like, go take a break throughout my day and just go on there and see exactly what people are doing in the moment and, like, throughout their day and where people are at.”
Mueller said she had about 50 friends on BeReal, a far lower number than the 2,000 or so followers she has on Instagram. And unlike Instagram or Snapchat, where Mueller claims there is pressure to “look good,” she thinks BeReal doesn’t have that phony vibe.
“Snapchat is more like you’re sending this to one person, if you post on your story, you’re trying to look good. Whereas this is like… wherever you’re at, whatever you’re doing, you stop in the moment and all your friends can see it. It’s more like a down-to-earth app. I would say it’s like a judgment-free zone.”
Can BeReal change social media?
The lack of filters and timestamps that BeReal is attempting to break with its curation is what other social media platforms are attempting to solve. The intent is to give the appearance of providing a more personal perspective on your life.
There is a want for locations where individuals can let their guards down and just be themselves, according to Chris Stedman, author of IRL: Finding Our Real Selves in a Digital World. He also points out that the curation of additional applications isn’t necessarily a negative thing. It may very well be something that is done by everybody.
After going through a traumatic period in his life, Mark Stedman realized that he was not telling that tale on the internet, where he was posing as if everything were OK.
“A big part of why I wrote it is because I was trying to figure out whether or not the internet is a place where we can feel human. But the fact of the matter is there is kind of nothing more human than curating a self that you share with the world.”
Stedman hasn’t utilized BeReal, but he can see why Generation Z would appreciate it.
“I do think one of the big challenges people feel on social media is I’m seeing everybody else’s highlight reel, but I’m experiencing the fullness of my own life with all of the mundane stuff. To be able to get this reminder that everyone else’s lives largely are made up of mundane moments too, I can definitely see some value in that.”
According to Stedman, BeReal seems to be similar to some of the group chats he already participates in. These are places where friends can share links and are more specific about their lives’ details rather than every photograph needing to be polished.
“Ultimately, whatever platform you’re on, the most important thing is being intentional and mindful about why you’re using the platforms in the first place, and what you’re trying to get out of them.”