Let’s BeReal

Popular app BeReal takes over social media

A few months ago a new app called BeReal has been popular lately. A student poses for picture to post on BeReal, where his friends can see. (Lauralai Gilbert)

A simple social media app with no filters, no followers and no ads—just friends. The basis of this app is to show who you really are, instead of using filters or having the added stress of having to worry about how many likes a post has. This app is called BeReal, a French social media app that was released in 2020.

BeReal is a platform where a user has to take a quick photo of themselves whenever the app sends the notification for it and a photo showing what they are doing at that moment using the front and back camera. This app requires taking a single photo a day in the 2 minute limit given in order to see what other users are doing. While taking a quick photo, users can grasp other people’s reactions with facial expressions or a thumbs up. When receiving the notification, depending on how late the post is, BeReal will mention how late the post was at the top of the post.

“I think it does offer a little bit of stress because I’ll admit that if I am taking a BeReal, I don’t want to look at myself because I want to look good,” U.S. History Honors and Women in History teacher Candaice DeVore said. “I want to look nice and presentable, or else I don’t want to be in it.”

At Bonita Vista High (BVH), students will get a BeReal notification during school hours. It can be during breaks, in between periods or lunch, and sometimes even during class. BVH students have started to share more BeReal photos because they enjoy updating their friends and family on what they are doing at that moment. According to BVH junior Alexander Roman, he thinks the app is growing at a proportional rate.

While most users are commonly students, teachers can also be seen using the BeReal app. One teacher that can be seen using BeReal at BVH is DeVore herself and it showcases that apps like BeReal can be utilized by everyone. 

“I think BeReal has definitely spread like a wildfire. It’s become so spread out throughout the entirety of not just Bonita, but a lot of schools in the United States,” Roman said. “[The app] is seen as another social media platform that allows more people to connect with one another.” 

Not only does BeReal allow people to see what others are doing, but it also allows people to post photos and react to others’ BeReal’s. Apps like this are a gateway into the personal lives of people you don’t know all too well. 

“BeReal is a silly little app that shows what your friends are doing,” BVH senior Elise Kirby said. “I think it’s kind of funny because it forces you to literally ‘be real.’”

The main appeal of the BeReal app is the random two minute timer that pops up when one is least expecting it. Many people enjoy that little rush of having to get the photo in by a deadline and the fact that you only have to post one time a day. 

“When I think about BeReal, I think of the feature of just taking a picture of yourself while taking a picture of what’s in front of you,” Roman said. “You’re being real by showing what you’re doing and not being fake about it.” 

BeReal is not only gaining the attention of students here at BVH, but is becoming a pretty popular app worldwide. BeReal has started to gain more downloads since 2022. More and more people around the world have started using BeReal so frequently.

The BeReal app developers have stated that “as of October 2022, BeReal has been installed over 53 million times worldwide. This is a significant increase from August, when it had around 28 million.” 

BeReal’s functionality is unique compared to apps like Instagram. Unlike Instagram, BeReal completely destroys the foundation that most social media has been built on by excluding key features of other apps such as a like feature–nor does it have comments.

“I think that one thing social media always tries to do is capture our attention and keep us on their platform for as long as possible. BeReal disrupts that idea of constant scrolling, or constant updates and comments,” DeVore said.

For someone who is trying to get into social media or try one other than Instagram or Snapchat, BeReal is a very simple and straightforward app that could also be considered beginner friendly.

“I think that for a student or someone who’s looking to try an alternative to flashy social media, BeReal is really good for that,” DeVore said. “On other social media feeds that I follow or articles, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it.”