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. Instagram is a place where influencers post highly-filtered photos of their ideal lives.
BeReal promises something new. This platform is designed for anyone who wants to view the true imperfect world.
Alexis Barreyat is the creator of BeReal, a social media platform that was made in anti-Instagram mode. 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. Although the posts remain in photo format, they contain snapshots from both the smartphone’s back-facing and front-facing cameras. These images are then shared with their friends in the user feeds.
This isn’t the place to voyeurize, however. Users who don’t post are not allowed to see other users’ posts.
Warts and All
The app is all about authenticity. It offers no edit buttons, and certainly no filters – and that apparently is part of its appeal. Apptopia has tracked the performance of BeReal and found that its active users increased by over 315 per cent this year. Additionally, 65 percent its lifetime downloads occurred in the current calendar year.
People might be excited to see what used to be mundane as they feel life is getting back on track. Another possibility is that people are tired of the “perfect” constant flow.
Scott Steinberg is a brand marketing expert who has been advising social media experts for over 15 years. “Social media has made a new reality. We can now see the best of our lives.”BeReal is one of the newer apps, which aims to give a truer view of the world that we live in.
BeReal’s recent success could lead you to believe that it is just a flash in a pan. Its appeal lies in its non-editing photos and an insight into life after the pandemic. Yet, it could have real staying power – even if it doesn’t become the next Instagram.
Steinberg stated that apps which try to be different are what we will see moving forward. We already have enough social media apps to fill many life-times with photo-perfect moments. BeReal is a platform that offers something different from other social media platforms. It is a different and unique way to send content to friends and followers.
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. You can do this by sitting down at your computer, taking the subway, or even buying groceries.
Steinberg stated that “the audience includes younger generations of millennials and Gen Zers who are becoming increasingly turned off the fake, highly-curated posts which have long dominated social networks.” BeReal gives a slightly more grounded view of the globe.
Steinberg said that this could be an area of influence in social media. It is absolutely true. As we know from the successes of other platforms, users are drawn to people they feel connected with. Although it is great to have something to strive for, it is equally important to recognize that the influencers you admire are still human beings.