In a time where social media is taking over, the next big thing is always being sought after. What is better than an app that lets people capture the moment they are in, full display at that specific moment in time? The social media app market is getting very competitive as Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok are on the rise. However, there is no other app like Bereal.
The sensational platform hit the app store in 2020 but it wasn’t until mid 2022 when the app really started to take off. Hooking teens by the fun playful actions, users can take a selfie while simultaneously a back camera photo takes what they are looking at. Randomly each day, the notification hits everyones phone alerting them to “be real.”
Each user has two minutes to take the photo while in the app. Enticing users to participate, no person can see other peoples “be real” until they have taken their own. The new app has taken over the social media scene for its creative ways but the question posed is if the app’s user’s are truly being “real.”
When I first heard of the app, personally, I was pretty hooked. I always liked the concept of seeing what other people were doing at a given time, as everyone is curious. The app was something new that I had never seen. Something I noticed, however, were the easily manipulative features that could ruin the aspect of being truly real as that is the app’s purpose.
Timing is everything. The app has the unique feature of giving users a random time to post each day with a notification. The intent behind this is to not give people a chance to be prepared for the alert and capture them at a random place in time. However, this is avoided by the people who care about their social media presence too much. In the app, people can post later than the time that is given. For example, if the app notification goes off at 3.00 PM, a user can wait until 7pm to post and it will say “posted four hours later.”
The first problem with the app is that the moment you set up to take a photo, everyone begins to act differently. In a sense, every photo is not truly real because everyone begins to pose or act interesting for the moment about to be captured. If the true purpose of BeReal is to capture the moment of people in that act of time then right now, it is failing. The app gives you two minutes to take the picture before you can be “out of time.”
In those two minutes people can go to take a photo of something that is interesting or change the way they are posed in that given moment of time. Social media being real is inevitable. No matter how authentic we want people to be, they will always change how they are acting or their appearance to look better in the eyes of others.
In my opinion, the ability to post your photo hours after the allotted time defeats the purpose of capturing what people are doing in a given moment. With my experiences with the app, I have seen friends post a day later which in my opinion just ruins the app. If we truly want to “be real,” we have to embrace our environment and post whenever the app says. In saying that, I know that some people have practice or things to do, so taking a BeReal at a stringent time may not be possible. As a fix, I think people should only be able to post during the period or no time at all. If the users post hours later are they really being real?
Getting the community together is a great accomplishment by the app as I must say. The feature of letting your friends take a picture of their live time reaction is a great installment in the vein of “being real.” However, following the trend, there’s always something that challenges the true authenticity of the app. Users can have pre-made reactions to the post their friends make. The app allows people to take selfies for each reaction that are funny, surprising, and many more. With this, comes the problem of it not being taken in real time. These reactions are pre-made so this feature further promotes the main idea that nothing is really real about what people are doing on the app.
I can admit I am an active user of the app. As a whole, the concept of the app is genius. It has taken 2022 by storm with its sudden popularity. All I am proposing is that if the main purpose of this app is to truly be real along with its users, then it is not achieving the purity it strives for.