There’s a new social media app called BeReal which has become the latest obsession with Gen Z but this time it’s actually for positive reasons. BeReal gets you to post an unfiltered photo of yourself once a day but remember – the app has no filters so your photo has to be authentic – it’s not all about posting a shot where you look amazing but it’s about connecting with people in a more realistic way.
Here at Women Love Tech we learnt about the new app from the latest YouTube post from Mrwhosetheboss and it sounded intriguing. He said BeReal is adding back that layer of reality to social media which it’s lost over the past few years. He added BeReal is becoming much more popular with 10,000 downloads last year and 15 million downloads this year.
For many, BeReal is touted as the ‘authentic Instagram’ and according to the website, Social Media Today, downloads of the app have risen by 315% since the beginning of the year. BeReal now ranks fourth in the list of most downloaded social media apps, behind Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
BeReal says on its own website it encourages people to “show your friends who you really are, for once,” by removing filters and the opportunity to edit photos. BeReal asks all users to post a photo of what they’re doing once a day, at the same time. There are no followers on BeReal, no ‘thumbs up’ button or ‘like’ button.
The app notifies users at a random time throughout the day that it’s ‘time to Be Real.’ This time is different every day but the notification goes out to most of the people on the app at this same time. A two-minute timer starts when you open the app, giving you a limited amount of time to take a picture of whatever you’re doing at that moment.
When posting on BeReal, the app takes a picture using both your front and back camera, so other people can see what you look like and where you are. The great thing about the fact you have to take a photo at a certain time of the day means you usually don’t have time to assess the lighting or fix your hair before you take the shot.
You can make your photo visible only to the people you’ve added as “friends” on the app, so no one else gets to see your often random, authentic photos. BeReal motivates you to post at the allocated time because even if you post just a few minutes late, the app notifies all your friends to let them know you’ve just made a ‘late’ post. So you feel good if you manage to post on time every day.
BeReal forces people to accept a less-than-perfect image
Once you’ve posted your photos, you can only delete and retake it once. So there’s no way you can try and get the ‘perfect’ shot. This can be annoying probably at first but many users say they eventually came to enjoy this feature as it saved them time and did make the photos more ‘real.’
And instead of hitting a ‘thumbs up’ button to react to your post, your friends have to take a selfie of their face inside a circle template on the app – basically a ‘realmojis.’ So the expression on their face becomes the message.
You can add a caption to your daily photo
You can add a caption to your daily photo which allows you to explain what you’re doing. There’s also a comments section under every person’s post where friends can chime in with their remarks which makes for a lot of fun.
Looking back over the app you’ll see a photo album of daily memories.
Some users have said one of their favorite features on BeReal is the ‘profile’ page where you can see all your previous posts and the app calls these your ‘memories.’ Users say the thing that hooks them on to BeReal is the fact they get used to posting every day – or nearly every day. And then it’s nice to be able to look back on their posts as well.
Is BeReal the healthy alternative to Instagram?
BeReal has been lauded as the “healthy alternative to Instagram” and it’s easy to see why. While it can take a while to get used to the fact your photos don’t have to be as polished or aesthetic as you’d usually post this turns into a positive thing because there’s no pressure to look your best on the app and you spend far less time on it but you can still stay in touch.
One user said they like the BeReal app because: “I usually post my picture, briefly scroll through and react to my friends’ pictures, and then get on with the rest of my day. It has felt like a refreshing and healthy way to use social media that I’ve really come to appreciate. “
But it will be interesting to see how long BeReal can retain its popularity. Other big players on the social media scene – like Instagram – are already looking at ways of replicating the BeReal ‘authenticity’ and if they’re successful with implementing these features, this could take away from the attraction to BeReal. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
To find out more about BeReal, visit here.
For more from Women Love Tech on the latest apps, visit here.