What is BeReal?

How BeReal is changing the way we use social media.

Just when you’ve finally grasped the concept of TikTok, there’s a new social media network in town and it’s taking the industry by storm…

BeReal prides itself on its users being able to authentically express themselves and encourages them to, well, ‘be real’. Stepping away from the artificial landscape and rigged algorithms of social giants such as Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, the new platform doesn’t give its users enough time for any of that.

Every day, BeReal users are notified simultaneously of a 2-minute window to capture and share their photos. It takes photos from both front and rear cameras and the app even calls you out if you post outside of those 2 minutes, so there’s no hiding! Instead of focusing on ‘picture perfect’ content, this sees a feed of raw selves and seemingly mundane day-to-day lives. They can even react to others’ posts using ‘photo-reactions’. An impressively simple social media concept.

Over the past few years, TikTok laid the stepping stone for more raw and real content which turned into the fastest growing social media platform of all time. BeReal seems to have hit a good balance of utilising this trend but with an entirely different concept – take note Instagram!

So how is this turning the industry on its axis?
In a digital world full of false perfectionism, BeReal is going against the grain. It’s been named the ‘Anti-Instagram’, ‘the antidote to social media’, ‘an unfiltered Snapchat’ and ‘a more visual form of Twitter’, to name a few.

Throughout the years, social media has gained a bad rep for causing low self-esteem and isolating users from reality. BeReal attempts to reverse that by bringing everyone together at one time, introducing a sense of community. It’s a similar effect to that of the popular online word game, ‘Wordle’, in the way it gives people a mutual daily ‘ritual’ and topic of conversation to discuss. Both platforms are time-sensitive, giving users that extra push to engage. These two examples alone show a clear shift in the way we are communicating online.

What does this mean for users?
The app is already switching up perceptions of social media. BeRealers aren’t in control of when and how they post and their profiles mirror that. Gone are the highlight reels of life’s best moments and in are the daily commutes and messy morning hair. For some, it could be their worst nightmare but for others, it’s empowering and liberating. The community aspect gives the app another edge, making their users feel a part of something bigger.

Whether you love it or loathe it, the fact that BeReal is climbing higher up the social media charts shows it’s fulfilling a need amongst social media users, specifically Gen Z.

What does this mean for brands?
Although very few brands have taken the plunge into BeReal and the app has no plans to incentivise and incorporate ads, there are many ways the platform can be used to amplify exposure, personality and tone of voice:

  • Encourage and enhance brand authenticity: Posting at a different time every day will help switch up your content and show different sides to your brand. For example, this may encourage real-time behind-the-scenes content – the good and the bad.
  • Opportunity to revive brand personality: Social media managers and CEO’s alike can use the platform to showcase a bit more of their personalities, giving insight into their relationship and journey with the brand. Have some fun and turn it into a bit of a meme!
  • Start new conversations and fuel communities: Imagine if everyone got their BeReal notification when the winners of Love Island were announced. Millions of authentic visual reactions would flood our newsfeeds, encourage new online conversations and feed existing communities. That’s one way to boost brand exposure!

We’ve really enjoyed watching BeReal grow, so here’s a few of our favourite BeReal’s to date: