Social Trends: How BeReal is Changing The Social Landscape

⚠️Time to BeReal. ⚠️

No feed curation. Random notifications. Two minutes. Front camera. Back camera.

Feel stressed yet? So do we.

Social media users have felt the pressure of editing photos to show the best moments of their life. Well, BeReal. has entered the chat.

Many users, primarily Gen Z, have gravitated towards this emerging platform that makes social media more authentic and raw. BeReal. hit #1 in the app store in July of 2022 and stayed at #1 until September 2022. Even after it lost its #1 spot in September, it has continuously stayed in the top 10. Created in France in 2020, it swept college campuses in France during the Spring of 2021 and has now hit the United States and other countries. 

BeReal. is changing the social media game, and here’s how:

How does it work?

Once a day, at a random time, a notification pops up on users’ phones. At that moment, users stop what they’re doing to take their photos. Here’s the catch – you only have two minutes to capture your BeReal. 

The app uses the front and back cameras of your phone to capture both you and whatever moment you’re in to post with a caption. Instead of followers, users add their friends with the app to share their content within a daily feed that disappears when the next BeReal. is sent out. 

Without the pressure of likes, BeReal. has given users the ability to comment and send RealMojis, a small picture of the user reacting to someone else’s post. Posts in a user’s feed are time-stamped. Since everyone gets the notification at the same time (by region), the app “exposes” users who posted a late BeReal — essentially showing who is not being “real” at the time of the BeReal. 

The point of BeReal.

Ultimately, the app was created to combat the pressure that social media brings to look perfect all the time. Everyone can remember when Instagram was once super popular for posting day-to-day life. Curating aesthetic feeds, editing images, and adding filters are the norms for social media users – enabling them to not be their true, authentic selves. BeReal. allows users to stop for a moment and share with their friends what they are doing more casually. The use of the dual-camera feature was a change from the normal selfie and allows you to show what you’re doing and what moment you’re in.

The impact on the competition

Other platforms, like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok, are all trying to dip their toes into this pool. Since BeReal., these platforms have rolled out similar features. 

Snapchat has added a camera feature that lets users send a Snapchat using the front and back camera in a split-screen interface. By adding this “dual-camera” feature, they are attempting to eliminate the need for BeReal with this already-established photography app.

TikTok added a new feature called TikTokNow. TikTok sends out a once-a-day notification to post a ‘Now’ that mimics the format of BeReal. TikTok also rolled out a “photo mode” that allows users to post a carousel of photos to a trending sound.

Instagram is working on a new feature called “Candid Challenges.” This consists of a dual-camera feature and a two-minute time frame, but the difference is that Instagram posts these photos to a user’s IG Story.

DDL’s take & why you should care:

A few of our team members use the platform.

One of our content strategists, Luke, says, I look forward to the notification, almost like a little game…I downloaded it at the beginning of September, and I haven’t missed a day. I enjoy the simplicity of the app and how friends aren’t trying to “yassify” their lives like they do on Instagram and elsewhere.”

See some of his BeReal. moments below!

Since the app is free without advertising, it will be interesting to see if the platform wants to implement some form of ads or payment as another way to make profits. From an industry perspective, is it just another social media platform? How might businesses align their values with the platform? How is this platform relevant to your own brand’s goals? How do you want people to see your brand? How can your brand use BeReal. to advertise?

Ultimately, we see a trend with BeReal. but we don’t know how long it will stay around. New platforms have a really hard time integrating into someone’s daily routine against social media giants like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. There are obviously some exceptions to this – cue TikTok. 

For personal use it’s a great tool to connect with friends and see people’s daily activities. Only time will tell if brands and businesses think it’s worth it to implement it into their daily feeds. Currently, we see that it’s refreshing to be anti-curation and real, but aesthetic feeds and edited photos have been, and we think always will be, social media’s M.O.

It’s clear other platforms feel the competition from BeReal. and want to change their features to keep up. With 21 million active users, BeReal. has an impact on the landscape of social media. Will you cave in and download the app?