BeReal (stylized as BeReal.) is a French social media app released in 2020.[5] It was developed by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau.[1][2] After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it rapidly gained popularity in early and mid-2022.

BeReal
Original author(s)Alexis Barreyat, Kévin Perreau[1][2]
Initial release2020
Written inSwift (iOS), Kotlin (Android)[3]
PlatformiOS, Android[4]
Available inEnglish, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Portuguese
Websitebereal.com

Its main feature is a daily notification that encourages users to share a photo of themselves and their immediate surroundings given a randomly selected two-minute window every day. Critics noted its emphasis on authenticity, which some felt crossed the line into mundanity.

The name "BeReal" is a double entendre. Its primary reference relates to its focus on users uploading unpolished photos, while also being a pun of term b-reel.[6]

HistoryEdit

The app was developed by Alexis Barreyat, a former employee of GoPro, and Kevin Perreau.[5][1][2] Initially released in 2020, it first gained widespread popularity in early 2022.[5][7] It spread widely first on college campuses, partially due to a paid ambassador program.[8][9] As of late August 2022, the application has over 10 million active daily users and 21.6 million active monthly users.[10][11]

In April 2022, BeReal received a $30 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Accel.[8][12] In May 2022, BeReal secured $85 million in a funding round led by Yuri Milner's DST Global, increasing its valuation to about $600 million[12][13]

FeaturesEdit

Once per day, BeReal simultaneously notifies all users that a two-minute window to post is open. It asks users to create a post (known eponymously as a "BeReal"[14]) which, using mandatory simultaneous photos from both the front and back cameras, provides a visual depiction of what they are doing in that moment. The given window varies from day to day, and is not known to users before the notification is received.[15]

While on-time BeReals show the time it was uploaded, late BeReals uploaded after the two-minute window only show how late the poster is. 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. Users only get one chance to delete their BeReal and post another one, and they cannot post more than one at any time.[16] BeReal also features a 'Discovery' section,[17] 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. Because of its daily cycle of engagement, it has been compared to Wordle, which gained popularity earlier in 2022.[4][18] BeReal has been described as designed to compete with Instagram, while simultaneously de-emphasising social media addiction and overuse.[5][16] The app does not allow any photo filters or other editing, and has no advertising or follower counts.[4] Marketing material from the company warned that the app "can be addictive" but also stated that "BeReal won't make you famous."[13]

The app does not have an explicit image moderation process, and thus does not restrict the users from posting inappropriate photos.[19] However, there is a report function that allows users to report a photo or another user if they are posting inappropriate content.[20]

ReceptionEdit

Jason Koebler, a writer for Vice, wrote that in contrast to Instagram, which presents an unattainable view of people's lives, BeReal instead "makes everyone look extremely boring."[21] Niklas Myhr, a professor of social media at Chapman University, argued that depth of engagement may determine whether the app is a passing trend or has "staying power."[4] Kelsey Weekman, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, noted that the app's unwillingness to "glamorise the banality of life" made it feel "humbling", despite its emphasis on authenticity.[18]

Some people regularly post after the two-minute notification expires, leading to some criticism of the app, as the ability to post late undermines its aims of authenticity.[22] With the popularity of BeReal, in July 2022 Instagram launched a "Dual Camera" feature similar to BeReal, and in August 2022 started testing a similar feature called "IG Candid Challenges" where users are prompted to post once a day within two minutes. As of September 2022, TikTok has also launched a feature called TikTok Now, following the same concept.[23][24][25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Real life, right now -- photo app claims to capture authenticity". France 24. 2022-09-07. Archived from the original on 2022-09-08. Retrieved 2022-09-11.
  2. ^ a b c "What is BeReal? The 'anti-Instagram' app Gen Z is obsessed with". finance.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 2022-09-05. Retrieved 2022-09-11.
  3. ^ "BeReal". boards.eu.greenhouse.io. Archived from the original on 2022-08-10. Retrieved 2022-08-13.
  4. ^ a b c d Brown, Dalvin; James, Cordilla (2022-04-20). "Why BeReal, a Social-Media App With No Photo Filters, Is Attracting Gen Z". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2022-04-20. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  5. ^ a b c d Davis, Wynne (2022-04-16). "BeReal is Gen Z's new favorite social media app. Here's how it works". NPR. Archived from the original on 2022-04-16. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  6. ^ "INSTAGRAM'S INTENTIONALLY UGLY STEP-SISTER: BEREAL". Culted. 2022-05-09. Retrieved 2022-11-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Fischer, Sara (2022-04-11). "Gen Z's new favorite app is growing like crazy". Axios. Archived from the original on 2022-04-12. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  8. ^ a b Goggin, Ben (21 April 2022). "What is BeReal? The new 'authentic' app taking hold across college campuses". NBC News. Archived from the original on 2022-04-21. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  9. ^ Karimi, Faith (21 April 2022). "This social app prohibits edited photos to encourage users to be more authentic. It's growing fast". CNN. Archived from the original on 2022-04-21. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  10. ^ "BeReal Rises to 10 Million Daily Active Users". Social Media Today. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  11. ^ "BeReal Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022)". 2 August 2022.
  12. ^ a b "BeReal Won't Save Us From Social Media—Yet". Time. Archived from the original on 2022-08-21. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  13. ^ a b Newton, Casey (2022-07-20). "Why BeReal is breaking out". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2022-07-21. Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  14. ^ "FAQ BeReal English". Archived from the original on 10 August 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022. "How do I delete my BeReal?"..."until you post your own BeReal"..."Just before posting your BeReal" (several references to a 'post' being a "BeReal")
  15. ^ Rogers, Reece. "BeReal Basics: How to Use the 'Unfiltered' Social Media App". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 2022-04-16. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  16. ^ a b Mamona, Sheilla (2022-04-14). "The BeReal App Could End Your Obsession With Social Media Perfection". Teen Vogue. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 2022-04-13. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  17. ^ "The BeReal App Wants You To Ditch Filters & Snap Pics On-Demand — Here's How It Works". Elite Daily. Archived from the original on 2022-08-25. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  18. ^ a b Weekman, Kelsey. "BeReal Made Me Realize All My Friends Are Hanging Out Without Me". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on 2022-04-21. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  19. ^ Perreau, Kevin. "BeReal. Privacy Policy". bere.al. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  20. ^ Perreau, Kevin. "BeReal. Terms". bere.al. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  21. ^ Koebler, Jason (11 April 2022). "BeReal Isn't Real and Makes Everyone Look Extremely Boring". www.vice.com. Archived from the original on 2022-04-16. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  22. ^ Chin, Monica (2022-08-20). "Stop using BeReal like Instagram". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  23. ^ Bandara, Pesala (2022-07-29). "Instagram Launches New 'Dual' Camera Feature, Similar to BeReal". PetaPixel. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  24. ^ "Instagram Is Testing a Copycat Version of the Popular BeReal App". Bloomberg.com. 2022-08-23. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  25. ^ "Instagram is internally testing a BeReal competitor". XDA. 2022-08-23. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-24.