BeReal Asks Social Media Users To Share Glimpses Of Their Real Lives


In addition to being a platform where people can all too often engage in heated political discussions, Twitter is now filled with highly edited photos and memes – including no shortage of posts showing Ukrainian tractor drivers towing away Russian battleships, or a clip of Denzel Washington from a largely forgotten movie. Over at Instagram, influencers regularly posts highly filtered images of their perfect lives.

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BeReal promises to be something different. It is a platform for those who want to see the real imperfect world.

The social media app, which was created in late 2019 by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat, is essentially the anti-Instagram. Instead of perfectly timed – and often edited photos – BeReal has users share unpolished images of their lives from an ever-changing two-minute window each day. The posts are still in photo form, but include snapshots taken simultaneously from a smartphone’s front-facing and back-facing cameras, and then are shared in the feeds of users and their friends.

It isn’t a platform for voyeurs however, as users who don’t post, in turn can’t view what others have shared.

Warts And All

As the name of the app suggests, it is all about authenticity. It offers no edit buttons, and certainly no filters – and that apparently is part of its appeal. BeReal has seen its active users increase by more than 315 percent this year, according to data from Apptopia, which has tracked and analyzed the app’s performance. In addition, 65 percent of its lifetime downloads have only taken place this calendar year.

One factor could be that as life is returning to normal, or at least a new normal, people could be excited by what was once mundane. It could also be that the constant flow of “perfect” has lost its shine.

“For nearly 15 years, social media has created an alternate reality; it is one where we can view our best and most improbable life,” explained brand marketing expert and social media pundit Scott Steinberg.”BeReal is part of a new wave of apps that is trying to provide a more authentic look at the world we live in.”

Given its recent growth, it could be easy to suggest that BeReal is simply a flash in the pan, with its appeal being the gimmick of unedited photos and a look at life post-pandemic. Yet, it could have real staying power – even if it doesn’t become the next Instagram.

“What we are going to see going forward is apps that try to stand out,” said Steinberg. “We already have more than enough social media apps that are filled several life times of photo-perfect moments. Platforms need to offer something that will distinguish them from the existing social media apps, and that is what we are seeing with BeReal. This isn’t so much of a gimmick as an alternative way of sharing content to your friends and followers in a unique and differentiated way.”

The Unglamorous Life

Whereas Instagram is very much about providing views from the glamorous life – and often times feels like a 21st century “Lifestyles of Those Who Want to be Rich and Famous” – BeReal is about the unguarded moments of daily life. That can include sitting at your desk, riding the subway or buying groceries.

“The audience includes younger millennials and Gen-Zers who are increasingly turned off by the fake, highly curated posts that have long dominated social media,” Steinberg continued. “What BeReal provides is a little more down to Earth view of the world.”

With that in mind, it could still have a place in the world of social media influencers, suggested Steinberg. “Absolutely; as we’ve seen with the success of other platforms, people are often drawn to others that they can identify with. It is nice to have something to aspire to, but it is just as nice to know that influencers are also human beings.”



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