BeReal is the new social media landed on our cell phones and which we hear about these days. How it works is simple: with a notification, the app alerts you that this is the time you need to post a photo, whatever you are doing. At that point you only have two minutes to produce the most “real” content and publish it. BeReal uses both the internal and external camera of the mobile, obtaining a double shot (a classic photo and a selfie) that can be shared with friends or on a public homepage. The app was issued in France two years ago by the creators Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, but it only began to gain popularity internationally in mid-2022. has 21.6 million monthly active users and 2.93 million people who log into the app on a daily basis.
Just as evidenced by the name, the goal of the social network is to capture moments in real timewithout being able to use post-production, filters, or any other expedient that modifies the original shot. The published content lasts a day and remembers in some respects, especially for the appearance-disappearance of content, the social Snapchat, while it acts as a counterpoint to Instagram for its wanting to capture live what is happening, thus effectively prohibiting changes and filters that characterize Zuckerberg’s social network. The result is quite predictable: there are shots from every moment of the day, from the most typical photos in front of a computer or in a restaurant, to the most unusual and bizarre ones like contained in the bathroom or even of a girl during a midwife visit.
Casey Newton, Senior Editor of The Verge and social media expert, commented that BeReal “is the first social network where every single post is bad“ and precisely this seems to be the objective of the platform: to capture the real, the everyday, even in its ugliness, without pretensions or artifices. “Your friends, really” it is, in fact, the slogan of the social network, which is defined “the first unpredictable and spontaneous platform where you can share your real life in a photo once a day“. Compared to Instagram, then, there are no likes or followers, thus putting all users of the platform on the same level, without anyone acquiring more importance based on the numbers of their profile. If you like a piece of content, you can interact with a comment, send a reaction or send one RealMoji, an emoticon with our face.
At the moment BeReal matters more than 28 million downloads, of which 7 occurred only in August of this year, and stands out in first position among the social apps downloaded at this time. And it is precisely for this reason that Instagram has set its eyes on the app and its features and it is suspected that it will soon copy its main feature, namely the notification with the invitation to post at a precise moment.
After the popular mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi leaked the news with a tweet, a Meta spokesperson confirmed that “IG Candid” is being tested, a new function similar to the BeReal format. After the first accusations and digs following the announcement, Meta claimed that the idea of a shot with both cameras has been in the works for three years. Coincidentally from a year before the launch of the French social network.
ℹ️ Add other’s IG Candid to your story tray. And everyday at a different time, get a notification to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes. pic.twitter.com/caTCgUPtEV
– Alessandro Paluzzi (@ alex193a) August 22, 2022
This is certainly not surprising modus operandi of Instagram, which had already introduced the function in 2016 stories of Snapchat, which then became fundamental in the daily use of the social Zuckerberg, while more recently users had criticized Meta for making Instagram, through the Reels (short videos), the bad copy of the Chinese platform TikTok.
In Italy, BeReal has not yet ousted any other social network, but the first comments regarding its use are beginning to be heard. The App was crowned the favorite of the GenZwhich has long followed the trend of a more realistic and less retouching social use, and which therefore perfectly embodies the approach of younger people to social networks.
Caterina Zanzi, a content creator with 200,000 followers known as @conoscounposto, gave a new point of view on BeReal in her stories: “Especially my side, I find it nice because this social network allows me to see, for once, your contents. Who you are, where you are, what you do, what you eat. The strange thing about my work is that the relationship with you is totally unbalanced, you see what I show you here [ndr: su Instagram], while I don’t know anything about you. Instead on BeReal I seem to know you“. An interesting point of view, which underlines the equal importance of each individual user on the social network, united by a shared action at the same time, without hierarchies.
Always Caterina Zanzi points out some bugs of the app and as one of its features, that is to be able to post the shot even late, is in contrast with the idea behind the app itself. For other influencers such as @stefanoguerrera (315k followers), social and tech expert, the concept is interesting but could have “The same historical cycle as di Houseparty”a social network service that allowed group video chat via mobile and desktop apps and now closing, or other social media such as Clubhouse, social network with audio chat and invitation, which after an incredible initial success quickly disappeared.
The future of BeReal, as well as of the other social networks, remains uncertain but it certainly affects how a simple idea made a giant with a thousand features like Instagram tremble.
[di Sara Tonini]
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