Why BeReal May Be The Next Trending App

BeReal, a social media app, has seen massive growth this year, with its user base increasing by a massive 315% compared to 2021, according to data from Apptopia. The premise is very simple — it gives its users a two-minute window every day, during which they are supposed to share a real snippet of their lives. No filters, no editing, no glamour; at least in theory. The fact that an app that promotes sharing realistic moments from day-to-day life is blowing up makes for an interesting shift from the last few years. Social media has become a carefully curated world in which everyone tries their best to look as perfect as they can. With apps like Instagram or Snapchat allowing countless filters — and users who often feel pressured to make themselves look even better than their best — social media can become an unpredictable and draining environment. According to a 2018 study, teens generally believe that social media affects them in a positive way. However, a recent study showed increased social media activity reduced life satisfaction in teens.

Many social apps are filled with influencers to the point that regular people not in the limelight feel pressured to make their lives look perfect. This creates an unrealistic image of the world — after all, not many of us are lucky enough to always be on vacation or wearing fabulous outfits. BeReal works in a way that should dispel some of that perfect image myth and give your friends a glimpse into your real life. What does the rise of BeReal mean for social media as a whole?

Is BeReal a gateway to authenticity?

It's possible that many of us have grown tired of the beautiful, but often fake, image of the world served to us by social media. Another issue is fear of missing out; with content flooding in throughout the day, scrolling through apps like Instagram or TikTok can be a real productivity killer. BeReal, founded in 2020 by a French entrepreneur, capitalizes on that by making the app very minimalistic and simple. Marketed mostly toward young people, such as college students, BeReal has a very bare-bones formula, but it seems to work.

On BeReal, there are no "lurkers." Every user who sees your photos is someone you've added to friends, and you can only see what other people are posting if you've also posted on that same day. This removes inactive, silent audiences and promotes sharing with your friends. To encourage people to post actual snippets of their real lives, BeReal picks a random time every day to send out a notification to all of its users, prompting them to take a picture right now. The photo is taken by both the front and back camera, giving people a glimpse of what you look like and what you're up to. Of course, even an app like BeReal can be tricked if one really wants to stay "perfect." Users can upload their photos past the two-minute window, giving the option to not show that time when you're sitting home watching Netflix and instead fast-forward to the time when you're out having dinner.