I Downloaded BeReal and This Is What I Thought

Picture of By Ninke Boshuizen

By Ninke Boshuizen

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded BeReal, for the sole purpose of journalistic research of course (kidding). For almost a month now, the new, trending social media app has been on my phone. In this article I will explain how I have been experiencing this new app. What makes it different from  all the other massive social media apps we have already been using? Let’s get to my thoughts.

What Is BeReal Trying to Do?

The goal of the app is to bring less perfect pictures to social media.

To begin this journey I would like to introduce you to the idea of BeReal. BeReal is a French social media app with the slogan “Your Friends For Real”. Every day at a different time, everyone using the app is notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo in 2 minutes. A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life. The camera uses the front camera as well as the back camera. This way your friends can see what you are looking at, and see your face too.

The goal of the app is to bring less perfect pictures to social media. Many people will often see pictures of their friends on other social media such as Instagram. However, these pictures are often perfectly (staged) moments. They are taken at special times, at special places. They share the highlights of your day, your week, or your month. BeReal wants to do something different. Instead of an environment full of picture perfect snapshots, it wants to give you and your friends the opportunity to stay updated for real. That’s why you receive a notification at a random time during the day from BeReal. Everyone shares what they are doing at that moment. Whether it be on a Tuesday afternoon, a Monday night or a Saturday morning, nobody knows what time the notification will come. Meaning that nobody can plan their events around the notification. Everyday you will see people going about their daily activities. Sometimes this will be very lowkey, and other times it will be very outgoing. It is all dependent on what you are doing when the notification comes.

The app comes with a few extra features. On ‘Discovery’ you can have a peek at stranger’s BeReal shots. This way you can get a glimpse of what people around the world are doing at a specific time of the day. There is also a chance you will miss the notification. This is no problem as you can always upload a late BeReal. With your friends getting a notification of the time you posted your late BeReal. You can also retake the picture if you hate the picture you took. However, as with taking a late BeReal, people will know if you retake your photo. Lastly, you cannot see the pictures your friends took if you don’t upload your own BeReal. This way the app prevents people from peeking and not participating.

Popularity On BeReal

This new way of sharing seems to be popular. BeReal is the new trend. The app is especially popular among young people. It seems to be a way to rule out FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It shows that your friends are often also just doing everyday things like cooking, writing essays, or watching a movie.

For some people, I can imagine there is a potential downside. If you care too much about what other people think it can be hard to upload a boring picture. Of course this app is not made to make people feel like they should do something fun every minute of the day. I hope that seeing some more everyday pictures of you friends will make you feel more comfortable in sharing the real, ‘boring’ you with other people. 

My Experience

So, how did I find the app? I personally really love this new app. I still get a tiny bit excited every time I see the notification of BeReal on my homescreen, “It’s time to BeReal”. I adore seeing all the pictures of my friends on the app. I only added my closest friends and my sisters so you can share any picture you want and really ‘be real’. I love that this app gives you the opportunity to dive a little deeper into the everyday moments from the lives of your friends. Moments they wouldn’t send you a picture of through any other social media. It is a fun and relaxing way to share more than just your highlights. To share moments when you do not particularly have something important to say. Or a cute moment to share. Funny enough, the moments shared on the app are in my opinion often very cute and special in their own way. Whether you are having the time of your life or you have the feeling you are not. I love to see this side of people.

Would I Recommend BeReal?

Time for the final question. Should you join BeReal? In my opinion, yes. Go for it! Convince your friends to download the app too and connect. Let’s create a little more buzz around more real moments. I would recommend not adding too many people, unless you are comfortable with sharing your everyday life with all of them. The more honest you can be, the more fun this app gets. If it seems difficult to be this honest? Do it anyway! Let’s all get to know each other a little bit better. 


Cover: Ninke Boshuizen 

Edited by: Aidan O’Reilly

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