The New Social Media Phenomenon: BeReal

Mandy Holmes, Managing Editor

Recently there has been a new app taking over social media: BeReal. It is an app that is different from your traditional social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat. It focuses on taking away filters and showing your true self at random times throughout the day. 

Here’s how it works: once a day you get a notification from BeReal. Once you get the notification, you then have two minutes to submit a photo of what you’re currently doing. The app takes one photo on your front camera (like a selfie) and one on your back camera. If you don’t post within the first two minutes, then your BeReal is categorized as “late”. When you take your BeReal, you have unlimited retakes until the two-minute timer goes off. Once you post, you can only delete one BeReal per day. You can add a caption to your post. BeReal has the option for a private or public account and if you want to share your location when you post. This means you still have privacy and can control who you’re friends with on the app. There is also a feature on BeReal that allows you to react and comment on other peoples’ posts. To take a “reaction” you essentially just take a selfie of yourself. It promotes a fun way of interacting with your friends and showing interest in what they do.

BeReal of 4 journalism students

BeReal was originally created by French developer Alexis Barreyat and was released in 2020. It had some popularity in France, but globally it gained relatively little traction in the social media world until early-mid 2022. As of late, BeReal has been doing very well. It currently sits as the number 1 free app on the IOS app store. As of July 2022, BeReal has over 21.6 million monthly active users. This is roughly 23 times the amount of monthly active users in July of 2021. This app has had very rapid growth over the past 6 months and is especially popular with Gen Z. Part of this growth correlates to the recent “Make Instagram Instagram Again” trend led by Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian. In late July this year, the pair took to their Instagram stories and posted a meme; this meme critiqued the app for the increase of videos and “reels” on people’s feeds. Many users feel Instagram is trying to turn into TikTok, when really people just want to see genuine photos of each other. This ties in to BeReal, as it captures candid moments of everyone, and doesn’t have videos or filters/editing. This is what makes BeReal so appealing to the younger generation.

Overall, BeReal is extremely popular and if it keeps trending it should continue to be very successful. Instagram and Snapchat have already added features similar to that of BeReal, because the app is doing so well. If you’re looking for a fun way to connect with your friends, I totally recommend downloading this app!