Authenticity-centered app, BeReal, rises in campus popularity

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Social media is often used to showcase a curated version of ourselves to others; our Instagram feeds and Snapchat stories show the highlights of our lives. However, that is slowly changing due to an app called BeReal.

According to NPR, BeReal was created in 2020 by French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat. BeReal is a social media platform that focuses on authenticity. Every day at a random time, the app sends users a notification that it’s “time to Be Real.” After opening the app, a two-minute timer starts; within that time frame, the user must take a photo of whatever they’re doing at the time. BeReal takes a picture with both the front and back camera, which allows other users to see both your face and your surroundings.

So far, using BeReal has been a fun experience for students.

“[For me], BeReal is a great and fun app especially [when it comes to] posting and seeing what my friends are doing everyday,” senior Nathan Kuy said.

“BeReal has been pretty fun for me,” junior Eloisa Avila said. “Seeing the pictures that my friends take is interesting and reacting to their pictures is also fun.”

As more people begin to use BeReal, there are things about the app that users are starting to find they like or dislike.

“I love that [the app is] easy and quick [to use],” Kuy said. “I dislike all the notifications I get.”

For Avila, there’s nothing that she doesn’t like about the app.

“I like that the app lets me comment and react to my friend’s BeReals,” Avila said.

The app is changing some students’ perspective on social media and authenticity.

“BeReal, though it’s still [being] taken over by social media perfectionists, for the most part is a great app to let loose. You don’t really have to care about the ‘perfect photo’ like you would for Instagram,” Kuy said.

“BeReal hasn’t had any impact on my view of social media. I already expected the pictures that people take for BeReal to be posed and not as ‘candid’,” Avila said.

There are things that set apart BeReal from other social media platforms such as Instagram or TikTok.

“[I think] the casualness and carefree posting style while also being so effective and well-liked by the public [is what makes BeReal unique], along with the fact that the app is not very technical or complicated,” Kuy said.

Avila says what makes the app different is its spontaneity.

“I think what sets BeReal apart from other social media is that its sole purpose is to share random moments with others, which isn’t the same for other [platforms],” Avila said.

BeReal is free to download and is available on both Apple and Android.