What is BeReal – Everything Important You Need to Know (2022)

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Aren’t we all sick and tired of social media apps and accounts full of fake filters, selling an edited idea of perfection?

Well, BeReal is a new social media app that encourages you to do just that – be real. What makes it different is that you can post only once a day, there are no filters, and both your front camera and rear camera are taking photos at the same time, so there is no hiding.

Let’s see what this new app has to offer.

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    What is Bereal?

    As I mentioned, BeReal app is a photo-sharing app that prompts users to be real and share snippets of their daily life – unedited raw images, the way things are. No filters, no effects.

    It’s not really brand new as it was founded and released in 2019, but by mid-2022 it started to grow more and more and gained peak popularity following significant media coverage, and it has become more popular in the United States than anywhere else.

    BeReal has more than 20 million downloads, reaching its highest position on Apple’s App Store charts at present.

    I started using the app quite recently and, I’ll be frank, I was confused at first. Like, how do I take a photo, why can’t I post several photos a day and all that, but let me tell you, I’m growing to love it more and more every single day.

    I won’t lie, I was a bit late to even hear of the app and I wasn’t really sure that I wanted another app that I had to post to regularly.

    But…

    BeReal truly is something new and now I think I like it even more than Instagram and other uber-popular apps.

    According to SimilarWeb, BeReal has grown significantly in the last few months. As a matter of fact, in August, BeReal had 120k visitors, while in July it had only about 50k.

    BeReal growth

    More than double growth in one month speaks a lot in favor of this new social media app.

    Who Uses BeReal

    BeReal app is most popular among Gen Z.

    BeReal demographics

    The biggest age group that uses BeReal are those users aged from 25 to 31 closely followed by 18 to 24, while, quite expected, the smallest one is those of 55 to 64 and over 65.

    As for the gender, and I found this a bit surprising, well over half the users are male at almost 60%, while women are just shy over 40% of the users according to SimilarWeb demographics.

    BeReal gender demographics

    Sadly, data for non-binary users is not yet available.

    How Does BeReal Work and What Makes it Special?

    There are so many things that make BeReal stand out from other social media networks.

    For one, it wasn’t made for endless scrolling and posting and so there is not even an opportunity to waste time on it.

    Another unique thing about BeReal is that the app will send you a notification at a random time of the day and ask you to take two photos, and at a different time each day.

    BeReal 2-minute notification

    Special BeReal camera will take one photo each with your front and back camera, but you won’t be able to see both photos at the time of taking them. In this way, you will show the world (or your friends, if you choose to post privately) your real face. No staged scenes, no filters, no edits.

    As you won’t be able to edit your photos, everything you post on BeReal will be real life.

    Or you can end up looking slightly crazy, like myself here:

    BeReal post

    Furthermore, the app notifies users at the same general location (Europe, Americas, Asia, etc.) at the same time, and from the moment you open the app, you will have two minutes to take and post your photo.

    You can take and retake the photo as many times as you like but if your two-minute countdown strikes zero before you’ve posted your daily photo, you’re done for the day and there will be no real-life post from you on the said day.

    There is a slight downside to this. Since A LOT of people will be posting at the same time, it could happen that the server gets overcrowded and slow to post. But if you’ve clicked the “post” button before the clock got to zero, there’s no place to worry.

    This happened to me only once since I started using it, but I have to mention it for the sake of transparency, right!? 🙂

    Anyway, moving forward.

    You will never know the exact time the notification will arrive and considering that it can come at the most random of times, you are encouraged to take just as random a photo of your moment and share your day with your friends.

    I got all of my notifications between 12 pm and 5 pm, so there’s no need to worry that it will catch you while you’re sleeping.

    Now, you can choose to post your photo as private, only for your friends to see, or you can post your BeReal publicly, and then the post will go to the Discovery feed where others will get a chance to find your profile and even become your followers.

    What happens if you miss the notification?

    I should mention that your two-minute countdown on this photo-sharing app doesn’t start to tick down until you open the app, so if you’re at work, at an important meeting, or in whichever of the situations inappropriate for taking photos, you can wait and then open the app once you’re ready to take a shot.

    True, this gives you some time for staging both a selfie and the rear camera view, but that ruins the fun now, doesn’t it? So just post something from your everyday life and enjoy the party!

    If you’re, however, late to post that day, there will be an “Xh late” note on your post:

    BeReal late post

    How Long Does a BeReal Last?

    Your BeReal will be visible to others only from the moment you post until the new BeReal notification.

    This might resemble Instagram stories a bit, where a story lasts for 24h, but considering that you will never get your BeReal notification at the same time and that you can be a little late to post, the duration of your BeReal depends.

    You will, however, be able to see your previous BeReal posts on the memory board.

    BeReal memory board

    My First Time with Bereal

    When I first downloaded BeReal, I literally had no idea what I was getting into. I heard of it only in passing (quite a lot of times, though) and after some thinking, decided that I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

    So I entered my name and username, made a new profile on yet another social network, and almost immediately I got the notification that it was time to BeReal.

    But I haven’t read anything that was written underneath and so had no idea that once I opened the app, I will have only 2 minutes to take a photo.

    So my first post looked like this:

    BeReal earlier posts

    I also had a pretty active day that day and wanted to post a few photos, but had no idea I couldn’t, so I spent quite an embarrassing amount of time frustrated because the app wasn’t letting me take another photo. I actually thought it was a counterintuitive interface! 😅

    What do I dislike about BeReal?

    We can all agree that this is a unique concept to photo sharing.

    We all grew not only accustomed to filters but also comfortable with the filters and with creating the perfect setting, the perfect scene.

    And so this was the first thing that felt weird about BeReal.

    Also, as someone who doesn’t like being in photos, I felt kinda naked and unprotected in front of the camera.

    But I grew to like all of that.

    However, the thing I didn’t and still don’t like about BeReal is that it causes another kind of addiction.

    You might not get to post a million times a day or scroll endlessly, but what I noticed is that I reach for my phone quite a number of times during the first part of my day so as not to miss the BeReal notification.

    Wrap Up

    BeReal resembles the simplest photo-sharing app, but it is much more.

    It encourages you to be your true self and share moments of your daily life with your friends and follower, without edits and filters. It’s not made for wasting time and endless scrolling so you only get to post once a day and at a random and unpredictable time.

    So go download BeReal and add me as your friend, I want to see what your daily life is about!

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    Miljana Kalinić

    Mell is one of the Stream Mentor's co-founders and a versatile content writer. She's helping other streamers get their visuals right, set the right panel, use the right lighting, install overlays properly and boost the stream quality to a great extent.

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