What Is BeReal and How Does It Work? I Tried It for 7 Days to Find Out

Meredith Mueller is a sophomore at the University of Kansas where she’s studying journalism. Mueller downloaded BeReal a couple of weeks ago after she heard about it from her roommate. The app is targeting college students with its ambassador program and it seems to be working. BeReal was launched in 2020 but has rocketed up the download list this year.

  • Users can also share their location and save the image to their device.
  • It has felt like a refreshing and healthy way to use social media that I’ve really come to appreciate.
  • BeReal’s Terms of Use encourages users to report any content that is sexual or pornographic, or related to hate speech, extremism, violence, suicide or self-harm.
  • BeReal allows you to share photos of yourself and your life, but with a catch.

The curation that individuals do on other social media platforms is part of what BeReal is trying to break with the lack of filters and the timestamps it has. Users can also see where their friends are on a map and discover other publicly posted BeReals. The catch is before you view anyone else’s post for the day, you have to post your own photos. If you haven’t heard of the BeReal app and you’re not a member of Gen Z, you’re forgiven. The social media app is the latest to grab the attention of the younger generation – and its popularity is rising quickly. After a user posts their own image, they can see others’ and react to them.

I tried BeReal, the buzzy photo-sharing app trying to stop people using filters, and after 7 days I was hooked

“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.” BeReal’s 315% year-to-date increase in downloads is significant, but that’s not the only notable number. The app was started by French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat in 2020, but at least 65% of lifetime downloads happened in the first quarter of 2022. There are six standard emojis to react with along with an option to create a RealMoji. With RealMoji, users can create their own by taking a picture of themselves.

  • Leaving time-sensitive notifications on is crucial if you aim to post within the daily two minutes.
  • This year alone, downloads have grown by at least 315%, according to data from Apptopia.
  • Even if it doesn’t last forever, you may have a good time relishing the banal.
  • Once you’ve downloaded the app, it will request access to your contacts to connect with friends who may use the service already (you can decline, if you wish).
  • At this point, they are asked to create their first BeReal post to start seeing others’ photos too.

This includes spam and advertising as well as bullying and discrimination. However, the company itself is a hosting company, which means it is not required to monitor the information others post. In July, right when BeReal reached number one in the US, Instagram launched a dual-camera feature for stories that lets you record or photograph something while also showing your reaction. On BeReal, what could easily become an anxiety-inducing race against the clock is skillfully contoured into a low-stakes posting experience.

What is the BeReal app?

When the notification goes off, you have two minutes to post a picture. If you go past that time your post will be marked as late, showing all your friends that you in fact can’t actually BeReal. Buzz continues to grow, although BeReal has yet to prove its staying power. When attending the University of Kansas, I went to a boozy party for a hot, alternative social media platform, wandering home with multiple branded koozies and a new app on my phone.

  • “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.”
  • As of November 2022, BeReal is ranked number six in the app store for top free social-networking apps for iPhone, trailing shortly behind industry giants such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
  • BeReal’s recent surge in downloads can be partially attributed to a string of viral TikToks referencing the social media app.

Users have 2 minutes to take a photo and submit it to BeReal for others to see. The picture features whatever the user focused on as well as an image of the user in their current state in the top corner. Posting a BeReal is a very simple process since the photos are meant to be as authentic as possible.

Features

According to BeReal’s Terms of Use, the app is for those aged 13 and older. To react to someone else’s post on BeReal, you can’t just hit a “heart” or “thumbs <--more--> up” button. I first heard about it from a friend, who said she was absolutely loving it and wanted our entire friendship group to start using it.

  • Users are able to delete a post after sharing, but just one deletion is allowed per day.
  • It seems the app is trying to discourage users from spending too much time on their posts by not allowing them to have multiple attempts.
  • With RealMoji, users can create their own by taking a picture of themselves.
  • With BeReal, I don’t feel a lot of pressure to post every day because there is no film or finished product to look forward to.
  • You need an account to get started on BeReal, which is available for iPhone and Android.

BeReal was initially released in January 2020 but didn’t skyrocket until this year. This year, BeReal’s popularity has soared, accumulating over 56 million downloads, according to the The Washington Post. Out of its global audience, the app is the most popular in the United States. As of November 2022, BeReal is ranked number six in the app store for top free social-networking apps for iPhone, trailing shortly behind industry giants such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

BeReal Basics: How to Use the ‘Unfiltered’ Social Media App

Other users can also see how many attempts the poster took to take the BeReal, as well as their location when the BeReal was taken. BeReal also features a ‘Discovery’ section,[23] whereby users are given the option to share to a much wider, public audience. This feature, however, is limited, as users are not able to interact with the posts through commenting—unlike the ‘My Friends’ feature. A French social media platform launched by Alexis Barreyat in 2020, BeReal recently reached the top of the free download charts on iOS, surpassing TikTok. The app initially gained popularity overseas, then attracted dedicated posters on US college campuses.

  • This year, BeReal’s popularity has soared, accumulating over 56 million downloads, according to the The Washington Post.
  • For example, only so many retakes are feasible within 120 seconds, so I felt less internal pressure to catch a flattering selfie.
  • Users are allowed to share time-stamped photos after the window has passed, but all images are treated like tardy homework with a “15 minutes late” disclaimer emblazoned across the top.

One thing I really didn’t like about BeReal is the way it notifies you when someone’s photo has been posted after the two-minute notification has passed. I was thankful that my post would only be visible to people I added as is a electric back massager good for a pregnant women “friends” on the app, so no one else could see this rather unimpressive picture. When I first downloaded the app, it almost immediately asked me to post my first BeReal, giving me a two-minute countdown to take my picture.

How to keep teens safe on BeReal

It definitely took me a few days to get used to BeReal’s unique format. I kept getting frustrated that my pictures weren’t as polished or aesthetic as I would usually want them to be, but I’m slowly starting to enjoy the fact that there’s no pressure to look my best on the app. I started to really like this feature, as it allowed me to add context to my BeReal and explain what I was doing. I had a lot of fun with these, as it felt like I could react to what my friends were doing in a more authentic and personal way by showing them my own face.

  • Your friends can comment and leave RealMojis on your BeReals; strangers on the discovery feed are confined to RealMojis.
  • BeReal’s 315% year-to-date increase in downloads is significant, but that’s not the only notable number.
  • “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.”
  • In the past, trendy apps like Houseparty and Clubhouse have had big moments of popularity, but after a while, people around me have stopped using them, so I’m excited to see what happens in this case.

While setting up an account, BeReal nudges new users to snap their first post on the spot. Your post each day is the toll to view friends’ posts on the discovery feed. Well, you’ll have to spend time on a different app, because everyone’s photos will be inaccessible on BeReal until you make a contribution for the day. Users are allowed to share time-stamped photos after the window has passed, but all images are treated like tardy homework with a “15 minutes late” disclaimer emblazoned across the top.

BeReal 1.7.0

The company employs marketer Emily Moravits, who previously helped lead the student ambassador program for dating app Bumble. The goal is for on-the-ground events, strategically located in university towns, to ignite a young, engaged user base for the app in North America that then spreads to a wider audience. In February, Harvard student Mariah Norman declared photo dumps on Instagram a passé endeavor so mainstream that the president does it. The pristine, curated Instagram aesthetic has been declared dead multiple times, and BeReal capitalizes on a continuing quest for authenticity on social media, whatever that means. The company has received millions of dollars from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, a prominent player in Silicon Valley that has thrown cash at Clubhouse, OpenSea, and Substack in recent years.

I was hesitant about downloading it because I already spend too much time on TikTok and have been trying to cut down my screen time. But as each of my friends started using BeReal, they began to rave about how fun thermometer app v20 it was to keep in touch with friends throughout the day on the app, so I eventually caved to the peer pressure and FOMO. Before submitting the photo, they must choose an audience (friends only or everyone).

How popular is BeReal?

You get to decide whether a post is shared on the global feed or to only your friends. Your geolocation will be included with the post unless you toggle it off. Users are able to delete a post after sharing, but just one deletion is allowed per day. A new photo-sharing social media app called BeReal has become the latest obsession for Gen Z. To react, you have to click an emoji and send a photo of you doing the emoji’s expression. The person who’s post you are reacting to will be able to see the picture of you reacting to their post.

It is similar in some ways to Wordle because of its daily cycle that promotes moderation of screen time instead of endless scrolling. To sign up for BeReal, all you need to do is go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, download the app and create an account. I turned my location off for privacy reasons and encourage everyone who tries BeReal to avoid publishing potentially sensitive content, especially if you have the settings open to the public. After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it rapidly gained popularity in early and mid-2022, before experiencing a decrease in use in 2023. I never bothered with 1 Second Everyday because it felt like it would take a lot of effort to remember to post daily, and I knew I would be annoyed with myself if I missed one.

Posting a photo

With this update, users are given a daily prompt at a randomized time throughout the day to make a post and share what they are doing within a three-minute period. The only major difference is that you can share a ten-second video or a static photo (with the same BeReal two-camera format) when the notification goes off. Because you are required to take photos in the moment, the photos you post and see aren’t retouched, edited or fabricated to show an idealized, unrealistic portrayal of a person. If done correctly, the images are an authentic representation of a person’s day-to-day life. At best, it’s social media but without the airbrushed fictional curated edge.

  • As with many other social medias, the popularity of BeReal has led to impacts in the workplace.
  • When attending the University of Kansas, I went to a boozy party for a hot, alternative social media platform, wandering home with multiple branded koozies and a new app on my phone.
  • Because you are required to take photos in the moment, the photos you post and see aren’t retouched, edited or fabricated to show an idealized, unrealistic portrayal of a person.

The app provides you with a way to keep up with what your friends are doing everyday, while also being able to authentically document your day-to-day life. However, if you don’t want to commit to posting everyday, this app may not be for you. Even for late BeReals, a two-minute timer is onscreen and counting down as you take (or retake) pictures. Similar to the earliest forms of social networking sites (remember AIM), on the app you have friends instead of followers and only these select groups of people can see your posts. This takes away the pressure of wanting to curate a perfect public image and brings back the fun of sharing content only with your friends. BeReal notifications go off once a day at different, random times for all the users.

Recent posts

While you can retake your BeReal as many times as you like during the two-minute countdown, once you’ve pressed “post,” you can only delete and retake it once. According to the app’s description on Apple’s  App Store, BeReal encourages people to “show your friends who you really are, for once,” by removing filters and opportunities to stage, over-think, or edit photos. “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,” Stedman said. “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.”

  • BeReal notifications go off once a day at different, random times for all the users.
  • A French social media platform launched by Alexis Barreyat in 2020, BeReal recently reached the top of the free download charts on iOS, surpassing TikTok.
  • BeReal sends users a prompt at a random time each day, urging them to snap a picture and send it to their friends.
  • Your post each day is the toll to view friends’ posts on the discovery feed.

All you have to do is open the app, snap a selfie with your front camera and then a photo of your surroundings with the back camera. Within the two-minute period, you can retake the photo as many times as you’d like until you get the picture you desire. BeReal sends users a prompt at a random time each day, urging them to snap a picture and send it to their friends. You only have two minutes to respond, and a two-image collage is captured from your front and back cameras.

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