What is BeReal and why is everyone talking about it?
Although social media is a fast-paced space, with countless new social platforms being launched every year, it is rare for one to make a sizable amount of noise amongst media and users alike.
After all, there is little that newcomers can do to take on the behemoths such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Most that enter the market either quickly close their doors or just remain popular amongst a small group of users with a specialist interest.
However, BeReal might just be an exception to this rule. In this article, we explore what BeReal is and why it is getting so much attention right now.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a new(ish) France-based social media platform which was launched by Alexis Barreyat in 2020. Although the platform has been around for a couple of years now, it is only recently that it has come to the forefront of the social media conversation.
But it isn’t just all talk. BeReal has gained notoriety by knocking TikTok off the top spot of the top free download chart for iOS.
The concept behind BeReal is to offer users a totally different approach to social media. Rather than hyper-polished, over-edited and filter-tinted images and videos, BeReal asks users to post a photo of themself every day without any filters or editing.
It’s kind of like a game, here is how it works:
- Everyone receives a notification at the same (random) time during the day
- Once you have received the notification, you have 2 minutes to open the app and take a photo of what you are doing
- The app will take both a photo of you and of what you are doing (using the front and rear-facing camera)
- If you post in time, you get to see what your friends are up to – if you don’t, then you don’t
This approach takes a step away from the fakery that is prolific on many of the big social media platforms, where users typically use timing and editing to produce a ‘highlight reel’ of their real life. BeReal encourages those that use the platform to offer a real insight into who they are – offering their followers real insight into how they live, think and act on a day-to-day basis.
Why Does BeReal Matter?
Arguably we all fell in love with social media because we felt it gave us a real insight into others’ lives, whether that is our friends and family or our favourite celebrities. Yet as the popularity of social media grew, so too did the stakes.
Social media has become a personal advert for many. From celebrities and influencers that want to attract profitable brand deals to everyday users who simply want to impress their friends or attract a partner. Practically every user on the big social platforms now feels incentivised to make their lives look ‘better’ than they really are – or in other words – we all want to look ‘Instagram worthy’.
BeReal has the power to take us back to the roots of why we fell in love with social media in the first place. The approach that the platform takes encourages authenticity, opening the door for important conversations around key social issues such as mental health and concerns about the environment.
Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
How BeReal Could Change Social Media
If BeReal manages to continue with its course of explosive growth, it has a real opportunity to have a positive impact on the social media space.
There is little originality amongst the social media behemoths – at least not in recent years. The majority of new features on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat are either directly borrowed or heavily inspired by each other or others in the market.
As BeReal grows in popularity, there is a strong chance that the other platforms will start to take notice. With luck, this will encourage the big platforms to shift functionality away from filter-first highlight reels and move it towards authenticity – helping everyone get a better grip on the realities of others’ lives.
It is clear that BeReal is an exciting platform that could change the face of social media. Not only does it encourage people to post more authentic content, but it also makes being more real more fun.