Photo Via BeReal/App Store

The new social media app BeReal has taken over the internet, but is it a good idea?

If you haven’t already heard of BeReal, you’re missing out. The new app takes a different perspective on how social media should be used: by living in the moment. It sends a notification at a random time for you to take your picture and show what you’re doing at that moment. It’s a new, fun way for people to use social media.

BeReal is currently ranked as the third most popular free app in the iOS App Store. The app is placed higher than YouTube (fifth), Instagram (sixth) and Facebook (13th), but ranked only one place under TikTok (second). According to the iOS App Store, it’s currently the second most popular social networking app. 

According to an article written by Abby Sklencar for Online Optimism, BeReal was started by French entrepreneurs Alexis Berreyat and Kevin Perreau in 2020. She also writes that as of October 2022, the app has 53 million downloads globally. The app is available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and most European countries.

The creators of BeReal describe the app as “the simplest photo sharing app to share once a day your real life in photo with friends.” You just take a photo, post it, caption it and react to your friends’ posts. There are people from around the world that you can interact with on the discovery page as well. 

Personally, this seems like a great concept for a social media app. I often get tired of scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, where the posts are all the same and curated from the other posts I’ve liked. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users have become caught up in their online image, editing their pictures to be the perfect person. BeReal wants to take away from that thought process and create a safe environment where users feel comfortable.  

I’ve had BeReal since February 2022 and I’ve been an avid user. I was one of the first people in my friend group to download the app, and I’ve watched it grow and become super popular with students all over Azusa Pacific’s campus. My following is concentrated more on the people who I’m close to, unlike Instagram. There are days when I find myself looking for the notification or hoping that it goes off at a good time. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to posting, but I am obsessed.

There are a handful of people who will “BeFake” and post late when they are doing a cool activity. I feel this takes away from the true meaning of the app. The point is to show our true, raw selves by doing regular activities and having fun. In their description on the iOS App Store, it says “BeReal is life, Real life, and this life is without filters.” 

In opposition, there are some people who dislike the app. My close friend Eneji Obami recently deleted the app because he didn’t like the concept. Other users have left reviews in the iOS App Store explaining that the app had too many technical issues or just wasn’t for them. 

“It seemed like a diluted version of Snapchat to me. I just wasn’t a fan nor did I see the point of the app,” Obami said. 

Some apps have already started incorporating the same concepts into their platforms. TikTok recently added, “TikTok Now” which has the same features but with no time limit. I’m expecting Instagram to join the party and add its own spin at some point, but they haven’t released anything yet. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter or Snapchat added something similar as well. 

In all, I think BeReal is a good concept for social media. It’s a breath of fresh air in the social media world because of its ability to make people show their true selves instead of an edited or fancy picture of themselves. 

In their description on the iOS App Store, the creators explain that “BeReal can be addictive” and “BeReal might frustrate you.” It may not be for everyone, but it has definitely gained a lot of traction in the past few months. I’m excited to see how the creators will move forward and expand their platform. In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to the daily notification.