Image Source: PhotoAiD
The BeReal app has been around since 2019, but it became popular only recently, in 2022. Known as the anti-Instagram app due to its efforts to combat the obsession with likes, followers, and popularity, it has gained a global following with over 53 million downloads as of October 2022. This article discusses the idea of BeReal compared to how people use it and how it influences them.
How does BeReal work?
BeReal’s concept is pretty simple. One time per day, the app’s users get a notification that allows them to post a photo of themselves and share it with their friends on BeReal. The idea is never to know when the notification will appear so that your photos are authentic and show what you’re up to at the moment. The app emphasizes authenticity, encouraging people to show their true selves through unedited and unposed everyday photos.
Most platforms encourage their users to spend as much time on them as possible, making smartphones the most difficult to disconnect from for almost 40% of Americans. BeReal’s uniqueness is based on the new approach to social media. Its users post only once a day, so they can easily avoid spending multiple hours on the app. This way BeReal aims to create a more genuine and relatable social media experience. So – how do BeReal’s ideas work in the real world?
How do people use BeReal?
It turns out, BeReal’s goal to stop people from long scrolling sessions is actually working. Its users usually spend around 15 minutes daily on the app, making it the shortest daily usage time amongst BeReal’s main competitors. To compare, users spend an average of 33 minutes daily on Facebook and around 29 minutes on Instagram. On TikTok, that number shoots up to 52 minutes.
These numbers suggest that BeReal’s focus on real moments and genuine connections may resonate with users seeking a more intentional and less time-consuming social media experience.
Do people have trouble keeping it real?
Even though people spend less time on BeReal than on other social media platforms, there are some other potential issues here. Based on PhotoAiD’s study about BeReal, it’s easy to notice that many people miss the basic concept of the app – being real.
While the app is built on showing users’ everyday unvarnished lives, 82% of respondents admit they’ve waited for their day to be interesting to take a photo at least once. This intentional delay is supposed to create a better, more exciting post, generating more engagement.
Moreover, an average of 43% of men and women retake a BeReal 3–4 times before posting during the two-minute countdown. This suggests that users may feel pressure to present their best selves on the platform, even if it means sacrificing authenticity. These findings highlight the challenges that users face when trying to balance the desire for engagement and validation with the core value of BeReal – showing real, unfiltered moments.
How does BeReal affect its users?
8 in 10 users have generally had a positive or very positive experience with BeReal. Most of the app’s users find their “Time To BeReal” notifications helpful (35%), motivating (23%), and encouraging (18%). It seems like the app has a good influence on its users – so what’s the problem?
68% of people experience FOMO on Bereal, and 35% say it’s more intense than on other social media. This highlights the potential downside of social media, even on a platform that prioritizes authenticity. The pressure to present the best version of oneself and the fear of missing out on what others are doing can still exist, despite the app’s emphasis on unedited and unposed everyday photos.
Stacking it all up
Even though BeReal’s unique approach to social media is resonating with its users, it’s not immune to the negative effects that can come with social media use. As the app continues to grow in popularity, it will be necessary for the platform to balance its emphasis on authenticity with users’ social anxieties and pressures.
Despite these challenges, BeReal still provides a refreshing alternative to traditional social media. By focusing on real moments and connections, the app offers a space for users to share their everyday lives authentically. As with any social media platform, it’s up to the individual user to decide how they want to present themselves. The key is to remember that being real doesn’t mean being perfect – it means being true to oneself.