It’s Time to BeReal


Mischa Wijesekera and Brooklyn Slie

Over the summer, a new social media app, BeReal, began to generate unexpected popularity. The innovative app displays new and catchy features that no other social media platform, from Instagram to Facebook, ever considered to include on their respective platforms until now. 

 Two French entrepreneurs, Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau, created BeReal in 2019. Together, they thought of an innovative idea – an app with just one post per day. BeReal sends out a daily notification at completely random times to all users. With no predictability, the notification can come at 1 p.m. or midnight. Regardless of the time of day, the notification always reads “2 min left to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!”

 On platforms like Instagram, it is easy to get sucked into a whirlwind of unrealistic posts from influencers with “flawless” skin and “perfect” smiles. Yet, behind the façade of perfection lies a full-fledged team that spends countless hours experimenting with filters and effects. BeReal allows users to unmask the artificial façade of social media by allowing only a short two-minute window to snap a photo. The short time frame makes it almost impossible for filtered social media to plague the app. Additionally, BeReal prohibits users from using filters and effects. Through its real-time mechanism, BeReal does exactly what its name suggests – promote real-time content. 

 BeReal further promotes real and inclusive content by snapping a picture from the user’s front and back camera simultaneously. By taking two pictures, the app makes it harder for users to “tidy up” to take a better photo and easier for users to include their friends in posts. 

Not only can you take memorable photos with your friends but there is also no follower count or likes. This feature means users won’t get bogged down over their like or follower count. Instead of watching a fluctuating follower count, users can instead watch real-time content from their friends. 

Although many users believe that BeReal only took two minutes to win the hearts of millions of fanatics, the app was far from an overnight success as the founders struggled to find the key to success for years. BeReal’s sudden rise to fame begs the million dollar question. What changed? Influencers on TikTok brought the app to fame over the summer. With hundreds of TikTok videos accumulating millions of views, it became hard to disregard BeReal’s immense appeal. Unfortunately, while there was no notification that said two minutes until worldwide success, BeReal has, no doubt, become an overnight phenomenon worldwide.

 As BeReal continues to garner fame, other social media platforms have made recent headlines with “heavily inspired” features.  For example, platforms like TikTok and Instagram are incorporating unique parts of BeReal in their own platforms.

 Not to call out any platforms in particular but TikTok recently added a feature called TikTok Now that (surprise!) sends a daily notification to users to capture a photo using the front and back camera simultaneously. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is.

Unsurprisingly, TikTok is not the only BeReal copycat. Instagram is looking to launch its version called “Candid Challenges.” Instagram’s attempt at alliteration will not mask the fact that the feature is exactly the same as BeReal. Let’s be real, TikTok and Instagram aren’t being real by copying BeReal.