December 10, 2022

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BeReal takes off: New social media app considered ‘anti-Instagram’

Looks like it’s time to get “real”.

A new app called BeReal brings the authenticity back to Social media scene – It goes off in earnest. (“SNL” even referred to it in a sitcom last weekend.)

BeReal was originally launched in December 2019 by French founder and former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat, according to TechCrunch.

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App intelligence firm Apptopia reported in August that BeReal has been downloaded more than 43 million times since its launch, and so far, its user base has grown by a staggering 315%.

BeReal is displayed in the app store on a phone screen in Poland, in an image taken on August 7, 2022.
(Jacob Borzeki/NoorPhoto via Getty Images)

Once a day, the photo-sharing app prompts users to post a photo of what they’re doing at that exact moment – and the timing seems completely random.

The camera will take a picture from the front and back camera of your smartphone, switching from the two in a matter of seconds.

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Users have 2 minutes to post at the specified time, which will unlock the ability to view their friends’ posts; But users are given the option to post late as well.

The purpose of all this? to display your friends What are you up to…and “get real” about it.

Zack Powers takes a BeReal photo while walking his dog, Robbie, in the North End in Boston on September 23, 2022.

Zack Powers takes a BeReal photo while walking his dog, Robbie, in the North End in Boston on September 23, 2022.
(Zach Powers)

Fox News Digital has reached out to BeReal for comment.

California-based CEO of Open Influence, Eric Dahan, spoke about BeReal’s appearance in an interview with Fox News Digital, explaining why the app has positioned itself as an “antisocial social platform.”

“The interactions are limited,” he said. “The feature is really designed to force the user to be credible – don’t give. [people] The ability to create overly structured content.”

BeReal addresses the more authentic social needs of Generation Z, Dahan suggested, while millennials value the full experience of content curation and the ability to share.

BeReal push notification alerts users when it's time to post for the day.

BeReal push notification alerts users when it’s time to post for the day.
(Angelica Stapel/Fox News Digital)

“Authenticity is really important,” he said. “We even see it with advertising content, where the content that looks more realistic ends up performing better.”

The social media expert also hypothesized that users are drawn to the app’s super simple call-to-action.

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“Posting what you’re doing at any given moment is a very easy task to follow,” he said. “It’s a really focused product.”

“It’s not something large-scale where users have to research it and see what they need to create. It’s well packaged, which makes it easy for people.”

Shane Swanson and Alana Karpovich capture BeReal while enjoying a sushi dinner in Manhattan's Lower East Side on September 30, 2022.

Shane Swanson and Alana Karpovich capture BeReal while enjoying a sushi dinner in Manhattan’s Lower East Side on September 30, 2022.
(Alana Karpovich)

But Dahan explained that the app is very attractive on a larger scale because it keeps people away from the influencer fake media.

As the public settles into a more digitally immersed world, especially since the coronavirus pandemic, Dahan said people are craving real human contact “more and more.”

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“When you look at social media, people are doing their best by over-formatting or modifying their content,” he said.

However, he said, “People don’t want that.” “They want to feel connected.”

Dahan praised BeReal for addressing this lackluster market segment and predicted that its “unique” functionality would allow the platform to operate.

Screenshot of iPhone social media apps including the new photo sharing app BeReal.

Screenshot of iPhone social media apps including the new photo sharing app BeReal.
(Angelica Stabel/Fox News Digital)

TikTok has already integrated a new feature called “Now”, which directly mimics the functionality of BeReal.

Dahan suggested that it would be a “good strategy” for other social media platforms with “engaging communities,” such as TikTok and Instagram, to follow suit and learn from BeReal’s unique features.

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“There are a lot of opportunities for existing platforms to build and succeed in this.”