⚠️Time to BeReal. ⚠️
Two minutes left to read this fascinating article and send it to all your friends!
If you’re a social-media-savvy college student, you’re likely one of the 20.2 million people who downloaded BeReal between the months of March and July of 2022.
For those still watching TikTok reels on Instagram, BeReal is a newer social media app that sends all of its users a time-sensitive notification at any point in the day. Everyone then has two minutes to take a front and back picture of what they’re doing, and it posts for friends to view until the following day’s notification goes off.
BeReal is unique for a couple reasons: firstly, you are the only person who can see all of the posts you’ve ever made. No one has a public “page” that people can visit or stalk— so theoretically, the longest time that other people will ever see a single post you make is 47 hours and 58 minutes.
Secondly, BeReal is one of the only social media apps that isn’t designed to prioritize quantity.
Sure, in theory, all social media apps are just supposed to be about connecting with friends and meeting mutuals… but we all know that follower counts, snap scores, views, likes, comments and the potential for viral fame tend to become people’s more primary concern.
BeReal, however, has no public friend counts. In fact, the more BeReal friends you have, the more difficult it is to view all the BeReals on your feed each day, seeing as every single friend makes a post every single day.
WOW! A social app that prioritizes authenticity and actual friendship! Who knew?
But… Can BeReal “StayReal” if it wants to “StayRelevant?”
For example, as anyone who has seen the 2010 film “The Social Network” knows, Facebook also started out as just a way for Harvard students to connect with other students on their campus.
Now, the app has an average of 2.934 billion active users per month, all vying for friends and likes – not to mention the millions of advertisers who pay big bucks for Facebook users’ eyeballs (and likely lots of their private information).
With each new social app created comes new slews of people trying to become famous influencers… or at the least, post that one magic TikTok that goes viral and gains millions of views from people all over the world.
It’s unlikely that a person will get millions of “reactions” on the BeReal discovery page… without the appeal of potential fame, the flattery of DMs from your ex-boyfriend or the ability to stalk your pregnant classmates from high school, can BeReal survive in its current format?
I can’t say for sure…but I hope so.
Personally, I use BeReal as more of a virtual scrapbook. I’ve only been taking photos on the app since June, and I already love to go back in time and relive random moments from the summer.
I like that my posts are hidden from everyone but me and a couple dozen of my closest friends. I like feeling less self-conscious in my posting than I do on Snapchat or Instagram, where I am guilty of posting to perform for my hundreds of “friends” I barely know.
BeReal has no filters, and no editing capabilities. It challenges people to be content with who they actually are and what they are actually doing.
It’s kind of refreshing! Which sounds stupid to say…
However, in a world where I and many other people feel (albeit, irrationally) pressured to present our most perfect/beautiful/funny/social selves to hundreds of people on dozens of platforms, BeReal has slowly become my favorite way to connect with my friends over REAL things.
Although it is rare for these qualities to keep a social networking app successful, I don’t think I’d be the only one disappointed if BeReal eventually conforms to the “bigger is better” mentality of other social apps.
Anyways, gotta go. BeReal went off!