There are so many social media apps that come and go, we’ve had Friendster, Vine, Clubhouse (any of your friends or colleagues still use it?) and now ‘BeReal’…
Let’s hope this ones a keeper!
Myself, along with a group of fellow Gen Z friends, have been curiously testing out BeReal everyday to explore its limits. Is this something new and fresh, or will social media giants like Instagram replicate the concept?
Here’s what I found AND more importantly, what your client might ask you about it…
What is BeReal and how does it work?
BeReal is a stripped back social media app that lets you share one picture a day using your front and back camera simultaneously, to your friends, or on the ‘Discovery’ section.
There’s no other additional features or ‘faff’ you need to worry about – it’s as simple as opening the app and snapping your shot.
“Surely there’s more to it?” I hear you ask…
Well, you’d be correct. At a random time each day, you will receive a notification (that’s actually more like a warning).
“⚠️ Time to BeReal ⚠️”
Once you open the app, it will automatically open your camera and you’ll be able to capture exactly what you’re doing at that moment. So always be ready!
It’s great fun once you begin, but not always that great for your followers. Particularly when they find out you’re actually staring at a weird mark on a radiator, trying to figure out what to write next in this blog (awesome photo opportunity, right?)
You’ll only be able to view your friends ‘BeReal’ posts once you’ve posted your picture – a clever hook designed to keep users engaged and active. After your BeReal post, you’ll also be able to react (with another photo) or comment under your friends posts to let them know you’ve seen their posts.
Have you ever watched those videos where people take a photo everyday for X days to see how much they changed? It’s a similar concept, but in this case, you’re sharing it with your friends, once a day.
Your photos will disappear on a daily basis, but don’t worry though, they’re all saved under your memories tab, so you can look back and remember how slim you used to be.
Can I still post if the 2 minutes are up?
Absolutely! The time pressure is more to encourage you to quickly post your snap shot, to see exactly what your friends are doing in those same 2 minutes. However, if you’re in a really important client meeting and you have no time, there’s no need to worry. You’re still encouraged to post even after 2 minutes so you can view your friends’ posts and they can know what you’re doing.
This could open up the debate that posting after 2 minutes makes this feel less authentic. However, it’s important to remember the purpose of BeReal is to have fun, almost as an escape from other glamorised apps.
Isn’t this the same as Snapchat or Instagram? What’s the difference?
BeReal is a completely fresh and simple form of social media. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before. Apart from the photo sharing part.
While Instagram users can expect to see a carefully curated feed full of aesthetic photos and videos, BeReal aims to show people’s real, everyday lives – whether that’s brushing your teeth, working from your desk, doing the laundry or even laying in bed.
BeReal sees it capturing the moment with no filters and no fuss. Unlike Instagram, you cannot edit or apply filters to your photos. Additionally, you cannot view how many followers anyone has. This encourages users to use the app to connect and have fun with their friends rather than building a following or presence from people they don’t actually know.
Snapchat is also a quick app to snap and share photos with your friends. However, the continuous encouragement of filters and lack of time pressure means people are more likely to redo their photo until they believe it’s the ‘perfect’ shot.
Should brands jump on it?
Being such a new and fresh app, it’s hard to predict the future of BeReal being used by brands.
As we already know, the main purpose of this app is to be as authentic as possible. Therefore, it’s hard to tell where brands or even influencers would fit into this.
Currently, there are no brands using BeReal as individual profiles are just your close circle of friends.
However, the one thing brands can take away from BeReal is the social media-wide move towards more candid content as a whole.
Why and how is it becoming so popular?
BeReal has seen a sudden growth in popularity amongst young people, which is down to their unique selling point of ‘authenticity’ compared to other social media platforms.
It’s proven to bring the joys of social media without having the negative effects of it, like photoshopping images. There’s no pressure to post the perfect picture, it’s more in the moment which eliminates any possibilities of glamorising your life to impress your friends.
The app’s minimalist design means when you view your friends’ profiles you can’t see their followers/following and you can’t view their previously posted BeReals.
Come on, admit it, we’ve all done it before, falling into the trap of impulsive profile ‘stalking’.
However, BeReal avoids this and puts all focus onto the 2 minutes you have to take a picture.
The future for BeReal is yet to be decided by us, the users. There are 2 ways this could go, either the excitement of BeReal will attract more and more users to join. Alternatively, there is a risk that apps like Instagram or Snapchat will jump onto this and add a similar feature within their app.
There’s just so much to like about this app. So, why not give it a go and see how you get on?