Imagine a social media platform where there are no filters, tweaks, and perfect lighting. A platform that creates a very strong sense of community but also challenges social media addiction. One that invites you to be authentic online and live a real life.
There are many social media apps, but all of them are about quite similar in features and content. These platforms have created a sort of a parallel life, which seems to be quite different from reality. Subconsciously, this leads to unnecessary pressure on its users to try to live up to the expected unrealistic standards—particularly the youths.
Even though there are many advantages that come with social media, such as connecting loved ones from across the world, it still has its negative impacts on users. The fear of missing out, losing followers and popularity—the list goes on. Is there a social network that doesn’t come with such effects—or at the very least, puts an emphasis on authenticity instead? Fortunately, there’s BeReal.
8 BeReal Stats That Will Blow your Mind:
What Is BeReal?
BeReal, touted as an anti-influencer social media app, was born in Paris. Just as the name suggests, the platform was developed to create a balance between social media life and reality, to be the solution to all the negative effects brought about by social media.
BeReal, released in 2020, was created to break social media rules, allowing people to only post pictures that can’t be edited or filtered to help people share their everyday, authentic lives.
Aside from these features, which distinguish it from better-known social networks, BeReal offers other features that are common in social media, such as uploading photos, seeing what your contacts upload and mutually commenting on everything. Similar to Facebook or Instagram Stories, the photos are deleted every day. In addition, you can tag the photos with your location, and you can also configure them as private—in which case, they will only be visible to your friends—or public.
The app is now available on both Android and iPhone. It can be downloaded from Play Store and App Store and is completely free.
The Creation of BeReal
BeReal is the app of the moment. Founded in January 2020, it achieved great popularity between January and February 2022, when it became a real trend.
BeReal was born in Paris from the idea of Alexis Barreyat, former video producer for GoPro, and Kévin Perreau. Due to his previous work at Go Pro, Barreyat worked and filmed with influencers who have millions of followers on Instagram. Consequently, he managed to get a sneak peek at what it’s like behind an influencer’s post or reel. He noted the stark difference between what the influencers showed on and off camera. This contributed to what prompted Barreyat to launch BeReal. In addition to that, he wanted a platform where he can still communicate with his friends but without the “excess of Instagram.”
And so BeReal was born. The idea is to encourage users to share their unexpected and critical moments, with no judgment necessary. In fact, you won't see most of the features on BeReal on other social networks. Users can only reply with a smiley or a picture of themselves. For each new photo, the previous photo is automatically overwritten every 24 hours. In addition to viewing your friends' photos, you must send a photo per day.
While the market seems dominated by giants like TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, BeReal has managed to stand out. This French app has become a phenomenon of study and topic of debate due to its peculiarity and interesting deployment in the social media landscape.
BeReal does not do any form of advertising or marketing. Word of mouth is everything, and every new user spreads the word by getting new friends to download the app.
Users consider the platform fun, compared to other social media. It also helps that the app doesn't encourage filters. Interestingly, users also enjoy the fact that the platform doesn’t go to great lengths just to keep their audience scrolling through the app for hours at a time. For some, this is more conducive to their productivity, and it’s enough for them to spend five minutes a day getting updates from friends. It goes against the concept of specially curated content and moments. Rather, the fact that the app chooses a random time where you can post your image helps users to be more engaged and keeps things more authentic and interesting.
How Does BeReal Work?
BeReal is a straightforward app. Users receive a daily reminder to "BeReal" through the app. The user then snaps a picture with both the front and back cameras on the BeReal app to show their followers what they are up to at that precise moment. In short, both you and what you want to photograph are portrayed since the app simultaneously uses both the front and rear cameras.
What’s being pushed by BeReal is that there should be no editing or filters—just reality. Notifications are sent to users of the platform at different times every day, which signals the only time slot during which it is possible to take a photo, in a maximum of two minutes. No matter where you are or what you are doing, it has to be a spontaneous and true moment.
The notification concept is exciting for the younger generation who are ready to take pictures in the most unusual places like during breakfast, while binge-watching a show, or even while taking a shower.
The peculiarity lies in the fact that, at the moment of taking the selfie, the user cannot see their own face, but only the framing of the external camera. However, it is possible to retake the “double photo” several times within the 2 minutes of the countdown. So goodbye to poses, quick tweaks, and filters.
Thanks to this mode, it becomes fun and interesting to see what your friends are doing in real time. There’s also the RealMoji. In BeReal, the user can customize their reaction to a friend's photo. They can do so by taking a selfie that’s similar to an emoji. For instance, if you want to react with a thumb’s up emoji, you simply copy that and send a selfie of yourself making the thumb’s up sign. There is a condition, though: to view your friends' daily photos, you must publish one too! As developers Barreyat and Perreau explain, this is a unique way to discover your friends' real life.
If you would like to see photos from other users of the app, it is compulsory to first upload your own. If you don’t, you won’t be able to view other people’s images.
There are two categories for photos: one is “My Friends” and the other is “Discovery”. With the former, you can view the photos of your contacts. In Discovery, you can see posts of other users not in your contacts.
At this point, you might ask, what happens if a user can’t publish an image when the daily notification appears? No problem. Just open the app when you want to post, and you can take your photo. Once shared, the duration of the publication delay will also appear next to it.
It’s essential to note that BeReal was created to counter the obsession for aesthetic perfection and the race for followers and online popularity, a phenomenon capable of resulting in social media addiction, which is quite typical on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. The ability to post only once a day and, consequently, to view a decidedly reduced number of new content can lead to the elimination of that addiction loop that makes us waste hours scrolling through our social media feeds. Moreover, BeReal does not show either the number of followers a person has or the number of reactions to individual posts, reducing the sense of performativity that often accompanies our online presence.
8 Stats About BeReal You Should Know
- BeReal has 21.6 million monthly active users and 2.93 million daily app visits.
- 74.5% of the app’s total downloads occurred in 2022
- The app is most popular in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and France.
1. BeReal has 2.7 million downloads in the US
According to analytics provider Data.ai, as of May 10, 2022, the United States leads the list of downloads with a total of 2.7 million, followed by France with 1.68 million and the United Kingdom with 1.51 million. Italy is in 13th place, with 127,000 total downloads.
2. BeReal’s monthly active users increased by more than 300% in 2022
As mentioned, BeReal is not a completely new app, but it boomed in 2022, two years after its release. In particular, according to the analytics service Apptopia, 74.5% of its total downloads occurred in the current year and its monthly active users grew by 315% from January to April 2022. To date, it has more than 10 million total downloads, 3.3 million of which were made in the first quarter of this year alone.
3. BeReal is top 4 in social media downloads
By comparison, BeReal was 4th in social networking app downloads in the US, UK, and France during the first quarter of 2022, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. In April, it even hit 2nd place in the US rankings.
4. BeReal raised $30 million in funds
BeReal has only made money through investments. BeReal does not require any in-app purchases or subscriptions as of April 2022. Additionally, there is no in-app advertising. According to CB Insights, the project received a $30-million grant in June 2021, from funds such as Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and DST Global.
5. More than 2.9 million daily active users are on the BeReal app
The BeReal app moved from having 921,000 users in July 2021 to a total of 21.6 million users in July 2022. BeReal's active monthly users have also surged. The platform is used every day by nearly three million users.
6. BeReal is available in 7 languages
BeReal is available in several languages. Aside from English, it’s also available in Korean, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.
7. BeReal ranks as the 10th most downloaded social media platform
Most of the European Union's member states as well as the US already have access to BeReal. In the United States, as of April 2022, BeReal is the 10th most downloaded social media app via App Store.
8. BeReal ranks 1st in free iPhone apps list
BeReal topped the free software charts in the iOS App Store for Apple's iPhones on Monday, July 25th, 2022 until at least July 27th, 2022.
BeReal seems to be the social network that the world needs because of the way it responds to people’s concerns about the impact that social networks have on their users. Above all, the youngest are psychologically affected when it comes to social media addiction.
For now, the future of BeReal is still relatively unknown. It may be another fad like what has happened with other apps that have offered a basic feature. Or as its popularity continues to increase, this may cause other companies to choose to include similar features on their platforms or create apps based on the same principles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is BeReal Private?
Very much, yes. You can decide to add your location when you share your photo. There’s an option to make it private, only for your friends or public. When there’s another notification to post what you’re doing the following day, the photo would be deleted.
Can anyone see your BeReal?
This is up to you and the configuration you prefer. You can have your post be viewed by anyone on the app or those only on your list of friends.
How long do BeReal posts last?
BeReal posts last for a day. You have the option to delete your photo once and have it taken again.