What is BeReal and How Does It Work?

BeReal - Capture everyday at different times

BeReal is the latest social media app, taking the world by storm, but what is it and how does it actually work? 

In this blog, we take a look into the world of BeReal, from its origins to the insane growth it’s been seeing in 2022. We’ll dig into how the app works, what makes it different from other social media platforms, and why Gen Z are going crazy for it. 

What is BeReal?

Taking it back to basics, BeReal was founded in 2020, by French app developers Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau. After a couple of years of being somewhat unknown, the app rapidly gained popularity and sky-rocketed to success in early 2022. By April 2022, the app had received an incredible 6.8 million downloads and had become very popular amongst the Gen-Z audience.

Since its invention in 2020, BeReal has been installed 7.67 million times. If that isn’t impressive enough, the app’s daily active user statistics are brilliant. As of April 2022, BeReal has 2.93 million active users, which is a 29,200% increase from the 10,000 they had in January 2021. 

BeReal Daily Active Users

BeReal is currently available in the majority of European countries and in the US, and the app has language options in English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. In fact, on July 25th 2022, BeReal reached the #1 spot on the free app list in the iOS App Store, and is still holding that place as of when this blog is being written (July 28th, 2022). This app has seen incredible growth and has sky-rocketed into success, very quickly. 

So, what does BeReal aim to do? You may have seen their tagline “Your Friends For Real” and wondered what makes this app different from any other. On the surface, it may just seem like any other form of social media, where you share photos with your friends and react to each other’s content. We’ll dig into exactly what makes BeReal unique in a moment, but first let’s look at what BeReal’s creators have said about the app…

BeReal is “a candid and fun place for people to share their lives with friends.” The company has said, “we want to make people feel good about themselves and their lives. We want an alternative to addictive social networks fueling social comparison and portraying life with the goal of amassing influence.” 

BeReal Social Channel

LYour Friends For Real. BeReal is striving to offer a unique way to connect with your friends and share your day-to-day life, without the filters, curation and editing of other social media platforms.

How Does BeReal Work?

BeReal is pretty simple. Once a day, at any time, users get a notification saying “⚠️Time To BeReal⚠️” This starts a two minute posting window, where everyone will take and post a photo of whatever they’re up to at the time. The app takes a photo from both the front and back camera simultaneously, showing not only what you’re doing but what you look like doing it too. You can post outside of this 2-minute window if, for example, you’re away from your phone at the time, but your photo will be labelled as “late.”

BeReal Late Notification

Your photo is shared with your network of friends and you can all comment and react to each other’s photos like you would on Instagram. However, there’s even a twist when it comes to reactions: You react to your friends’ photos on BeReal with selfies. This little feature adds an extra personal touch, putting a unique spin on the standard social media reactions.

There are a range of features which make BeReal stand out from the busy social media crowd, one of which is the fact that there are no follower counts. It really isn’t a numbers game and the app doesn’t encourage the influencer lifestyle. Your photos are only shared with your close network of friends, unless you choose to share your content on the lesser-used Discovery feed, and the entire nature of the app leads users away from the curated content trend. The random “⚠️Time To BeReal⚠️” notification doesn’t give you time to plan your content, set up a ring-light or make yourself look your best, making it more authentic. 

This brings us nicely onto another interesting element of BeReal. There are no filters or editing options. That’s right, it really isn’t like Instagram when you start to dig into it! Social media is full of filters these days, whether it be some subtle Facetune on Instagram, a make-up filter on TikTok, or that hilarious crying face filter that went viral on Snapchat recently. BeReal doesn’t have any. You’re posting raw content, without any edits. 

Is BeReal Any Good?

Now you’re all clued up on the new app taking the world by storm. So, what’s your verdict on BeReal? Since its invention in 2020, the platform has seen exponential growth and has shot into popularity, especially with Gen Z. If the past is anything to go by (think TikTok), Gen Z are often the pioneers in the social media sphere, identifying and jumping on new platforms, which then see incredible success.

It’s an interesting platform, with no editing, filters, follower counts or curated feeds. This authenticity is unique. Is BeReal the future of social media? Will other platforms adopt this format? Time will tell. What we do know is it’s already proving to be very popular, which must have got the other social platforms sitting up and taking note. 

If you’re looking for some guidance on how to make the most of social media for your marketing strategy, get in touch with us today. Book a free consultation with a member of our team to have a chat, and see how we can help you.

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