If you thought you didn’t need another social media app, you apparently need to rethink that, according to the creators of BeReal, the new app to rule them all, or some such thing.
BeReal is a photo sharing application, or app, created in France, by Alexis Barreyat, in 2020, which in social media terms is an age.
Once a day, at an unspecified time, the app alerts all users that a two minute window is open, during which time, they take pictures of their immediate surroundings, wherever they might be, whatever they may be doing. The reverse camera captures them, ready or not, and a “BeReal” is then posted.
The entire object of the exercise is to capture a genuine, unedited moment.
In a world dominated by glossy, pre packaged, filtered images, from the likes of Instagram, BeReal invites you, to be, well, real.
You could be on a bus on your way home, from work, or wherever.
Where other apps would patiently wait for you to show off the result of your sweaty, strenuous exercise to a fitter you, BeReal will have you share that process, and not at a time of your choosing either. You do not even have the option of selecting the best image from among several, although you do get one chance to delete an image, and post another.
And if you are thinking how great it would be to see others at their most unprepared, daily lives, the app’s creators have foreseen that, and are ahead of you, wagging a no, no, no, finger. You may indeed see your other people in their kitchens, doing their washing up, unflatteringly sprawled on their sofas, but to do so, you will have to have posted your own images, dusting your book case, or some other mundane activity.
There are no influencers, no followers. The app suggests instead, “friending” people already known to you, that it can scan from your telephone.
In a world that craves authenticity, but ironically undermines it, by attempting to manufacture it, BeReal, may offer the real thing. How long it will remain so, will be interesting to see. Already, Instagram and Meta, are marketing similar services, to add to their existing apps.
For now, however, if you are looking for a respite, from images edited to give a fantasy idea of yourself, BeReal might be the exact escape you need.