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From the Blog

Time to BeReal

11. 04. 2023

Hannah Uprichard, our social whizz, is back again to talk about how she thinks authenticity and behind-the-scenes beats polished, pristine content!

We've all become accustomed to showing off the best part of our lives on social. However, Hannah thinks trending app BeReal might be breaking down authenticity barriers. Go on Hannah, share your thoughts!

As discussed in my previous blog post about social trends, authenticity is becoming more valued than content or glamour on social media platforms - enter: BeReal.

BeReal is a French social media app that was released in 2020 but really came to light in early 2022 with the number of monthly users increasing by 315% since January 2022.

Essentially the aim of the app is exactly what it says on the tin – to be real. The app strips everything back - taking away ads, promotions and influencing to encourage users to be their authentic selves.

Here’s the rundown on how BeReal actually works:

  • A notification is sent out to users once per day telling them that it is time to ‘BeReal’ and giving them two minutes to snap a pic (using both front and back camera).
  • If you retake, followers can see this. If you are late, followers can also see this.
  • The aim is to catch users at random times of the day to allow followers to see what they’re doing at that given moment – whether you’re chilling in bed, working or out for a coffee.

Users can also view their BeReal’s back in the ‘memories’ section which shows every single BeReal posted from they began using the app, allowing users to view a rundown of their year in pictures.

BeReal has ‘popped off’ so much that it is also inspiring copycat competitors. TikTok recently launched a new feature called ‘TikTok Now’ which works in the same way and urges users to share impromptu photos or short videos daily. Instagram has also confirmed they are working on a similar feature known as ‘IG Candid’.

But is BeReal actually encouraging people to be real?

Whilst BeReal is described as an authentic, genuine, spontaneous, and candid social networking app, there is still the question of ‘will it actually make a difference to how users work?’

Of course, the app encourages authenticity, and a lot of people use it exactly in this way…but users have been conditioned into posting the best and most airbrushed parts of their life for many years now and often people may hold off on posting their BeReal until they’re doing something more exciting than their everyday, mundane tasks – I for one am guilty of this. After all, why post a picture watching TV in bed when you could post a couple of hours later out with friends?

Now I’m not saying this is the case all of the time, as my followers have most definitely seen me in my worst states (apologies for that guys) and a lot of the time you can miss the notification due to being busy or not on your phone when the notification goes off…but if there is a day where I know something exciting is happening I might just hold off to post then – and I know I’m not alone on this.

Let’s have a look at some of my BeReal’s to show occasions when I have posted within the 2-minute time frame and when I haven’t.

Within the time frame:

Outside of the time frame:

As you can see – the three examples of when I was outside of the time frame are all relatively exciting and this may be because I knew I’d be doing something more fun later in the day and held off so that I could take my BeReal then. I mean…who doesn’t want to document getting their first tattoo or jetting off on their hols?!

Personally, I absolutely love that being authentic is now trending as I have never enjoyed perfectly polished, aesthetically pleasing posts on Instagram – it all seems a bit fake and unrelatable. However, I do think it’s difficult to be fully authentic on any social media platform as we have grown to become so accustomed to only showing certain parts (usually the highlights) of our life online.

Do I think BeReal is breaking barriers? Yes – without a doubt this platform is allowing users to embrace living in the moment and showing the real parts of their life. Do I think that this is the beginning of a new type of user? I’m unsure. Whether you like to admit it or not, nobody wants to share the rubbish and boring parts of their life for people to see. However, with social media giants like TikTok and Instagram jumping on board with their BeReal style features, we could be on the cusp of a new norm and new type of social media user who shares every aspect of life online, good or bad.

I guess we will have to wait and see…

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