In a landscape cluttered with apps that ride on the wave of popularity and challenges, you would think no one has the mental bandwidth for another app. On most of these apps, any sort of reality is practically shunned, with emphasis placed on your followers, the number of likes and enhanced brows and perfectly curled lashes. Now, a new social media app is here to help get rid of those pressures. Say hello to BeReal–the new photo sharing social media app that lets you be real and has Gen-Z hooked.
So How Does BeReal Work?
BeReal gives your friends an insight into your daily life by allowing you to share your photos in real time. There’s no option to add filters or edit your photos. The app will send you a notification saying “Time to BeReal” at any time of the day and you only get a 2 minute window to take your snap and share it. Whether you’re stuck in line at the grocery store, just got done with a sweaty work out, had a full-on crying session and now look like a racoon after smudged mascara, or struggling to keep your hair in place in a speedy auto rickshaw ride, it doesn’t matter; you have to capture it and post it on BeReal. You get to be yourself and post the photo however you want to. The point is to keep it authentic and not feel pressured to put the best version of yourself online. Everyone across the world gets the notification at the same time, and only once you post your photo, you’ll get to see your friends’ Be Reals.
What’s The Hype Around It Anyway?
The fact that BeReal lets you be yourself is a step in the right direction in itself and users seem to like this approach. The 2-minute window will give you enough time to adjust your angles but there’s no option to edit your photos–a feature we like as the app forces you to take a photo in real time and give a glimpse into your personal life on a realistic level. You can try taking the photo multiple times once the time is up but the number will be visible to your friends.
But it’s also the way the app captures your photos that has caught on. It lets you take two photos–one from the rear camera which captures your surrounding and then the front camera also automatically takes your photo. The angle necessary to take a shot of what’s in front of you results in an unflattering selfie. Initially, this might bother you (you’ve been conditioned to think you’ve to look a certain way) but the point is to not care, because it beats the purpose of the app. You can choose to flip the camera and take your selfie first and the back camera will then adjust the angle to take a shot of your surrounding. After the dual camera feature became a craze, even Instagram and Snapchat copied it (how surprising).
My day job is that of a writer but I struggle with coming up with cool captions on my own Instagram photos. But with BeReal, I don’t have to deal with that pressure. You don’t need to caption your photos unless you want to. You can comment and react on your friends photos. There’s nothing like a “followers” list here. So you need not worry about how many followers you do or do not have. It kinda works like how Facebook operated when it first began–you send friend requests from your contact list and invite those who you know to be on the app. You don’t need to be any influencer or content creator on BeReal. All you do is be yourself.
There’s also a section called ‘Your Memories’ where you can see all your BeReals from the first to the last. So if you check it out after a year, it will be a fun trip down memory lane.
Will The App Survive?
While BeReal has many plus points, it also has a few bumps in its path. It’s great that BeReal only lets you access it once a day to keep your app usage to the minimum; clever TBH. But this only becomes an advantage for the other social media apps as you end up scrolling through them anyway. While you get to be real on this app, you still get the chance to edit your photos on the other ones.
There’a also a Discovery page which lets you see BeReal’s of random people from across the world. But there’s not much this section really offers.
There are days when I don’t want to post my photo anywhere but see what my friends are up to. But BeReal forces you to take a random snap to see your friends’s photos, making it a bit restrictive and perhaps slightly annoying.
BeReal is a fun way of engaging with your friends through realistic, unfiltered visuals that offer you a peak into their daily lives. While it’s great that it encourages you to accept yourself, it stops there. And if the creators of the app don’t find ways to make it a little bit more fun while still maintaining the app’s ethos, I’m not sure for how long it will last.