December 1, 2022

What is BeReal and how does the app that wants you to be authentic work?

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(CNN Spanish) — In the digital ecosystem, there are various applications whose main feature is sharing images, and probably the flagship of all of them is Instagram, which in October 2022 turns 12 years old.

And it is that, with more than a decade between us, it is normal that Instagram has a global presence and dominates in the field of photography social networks. However, there is a young social network that is growing by leaps and bounds, especially in 2022.

This is the BeReal app, which was released on December 19, 2019 and whose main objective is to urge users to be more authentic than in other social networks where you can edit and retouch images at will.

What is BeReal?

BeReal is a social networking application that encourages users to share a part of their life in real time.

The app, which has as its slogan “Your friends for real”is available only on Apple’s iOS operating system, and seems to be very popular with a 4.9 star rating.

As the name suggests, the goal is authenticity. The app invites users once a day to share a photo of what they’re currently doing, giving friends and others an unvarnished view of their lives.

It has no filters or edit buttons. So if your hair is a mess at the moment and your view is of a rainy parking lot, that’s what people will see.

The result is a far cry from the polished, overly manicured photos that are popular on other social media platforms.

How does it work?

The concept of BeReal is simple. Once you download the app, you get a notification once a day that “It’s time for BeReal”. That means you have two minutes to take and post a picture of what you’re doing, no matter how mundane.

There is no fixed time: the notification arrives at various times of the day, which adds to the mystery of the application.

“Push notifications are sent simultaneously around the world at different times of the day,” the company explains in a statement. “It’s a secret how the time is chosen each day, it’s not random.”

That means that the potential window into your life can open at any time. When it does, the app invites you to take a photo of what you’re doing at the time. It takes a double photo: a selfie and one that shows what is in front of you. (BeReal does not allow videos yet).

The result is a social feed filled with raw photos of your close friends doing everyday, unglamorous things: lounging in pajamas, doing homework, riding the bus, microwaving dinner.

Some of the features of BeReal

Some of the features of BeReal. (Photo: created with images from the App Store)

With just one post a day, there’s no clutter of friends’ photos to mindlessly scroll through. You can only see your friends’ posts if you share a photo, which eliminates stalkers. Some people disable their location for privacy reasons as the app works in real time.

What happens if it is not published in two minutes?

When the BeReal notification is pressed once a day, the camera opens within the app along with a two-minute countdown timer. You have until the timer runs out to take a picture of what’s in front of you. At the same time, the front camera takes a selfie.

The app will share both images. You can take them again within the two minutes allowed and share them with your friends when you’re ready.

BeReal also allows users to take and post the photo later in the day, but tells your friends how many hours have passed between the time of notification and posting. In short, it calls you out for your lack of spontaneity.

BeReal Growth

According to data updated to August 2022 from the specialized site ApptopiaBeReal has been downloaded 43.3 million times since its launch in December 2019.

What is impressive is the growth this year has had: of the 43.3 million downloads, almost 95% (41 million) occurred in 2022, according to Apptopia. Of the new users, the United States is the main market with 40% of the total.

Likewise, Apptopia announced in April that, from 2021 to 2022, the monthly active users of the app grew 315%. Months later, the specialized site noted that BeReal was the most downloaded non-game-related app on iOS worldwide during August 2022.





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