Social media app encourages users to BeReal

Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor

In the age of social media, Generation Z has dealt with the pressure of posting picture-perfect content and of receiving as many likes, comments and views as possible. It can be tiresome to maintain a flawless yet engaging persona online. One app has attempted to erase the stigmas surrounding social media apps by having their users post content in real-time. 

BeReal is a French social media platform created in 2020, it gained popularity early to mid-2022 and has since gained a 4.8 out of five stars in the App Store. The app dubs itself as “not another social network,” as it encourages its users to post “real content.” 

It does this by sending notifications at random times each day to remind users to take their BeReal. A BeReal is taken with both the front and back sides of a phone camera, first with one side then the other, depending on the user’s preference. Once the BeReal is captured, the user can caption it or post it to go in their follower feed and discovery feed. The follower feed consists of people the user has added via friend requests, while the discovery feed can allow the user to make online connections with people around the world. 

Users cannot see their feed until they post their BeReal. While users are encouraged to post when the notification randomly goes off, they are still allowed to post at whatever time they want to. Their BeReal receives a late notification whenever it is not on time. Once posted, the feed is now accessible. 

“I like BeReal because it allows us to connect with people in a closer way,” Kiara Hulōn, BeReal user and junior kinesiology major from University of La Verne, said. “It’s more engaging because it’s about being in the moment.”

Sebastian Ballester, junior kinesiology major, said BeReal demands a little more than other social media platforms since users are encouraged to post every day at whatever time the notification goes off. This concept sucks the users in since they are waiting for the notification to post and see what their friends are up to. 

“BeReal is different because of the lack of filters and the fact that you capture what you’re doing at the moment you decide to take it,” Ballester said. “It’s simple, and it’s a great way to see how your friends live and learn more about people’s interests or lives. It’s always fun to see what other people do on their (own) time.”  

The app allows further engagement than online commenting on someone’s BeReal. Other users can react to a BeReal by using the Instant RealMoji, which is the follower taking a picture of themself in real-time reacting to the user’s BeReal. 

Another of the app’s features is doing a wrap-up of a user’s moments from BeReal. It takes all of the BeReals the user posts throughout the year and puts them together in a short video that can be posted on other social media platforms. 

Not everyone enjoys the premise of the app. Dakota Bechtel, sophomore psychology major, has a love/tolerate relationship with BeReal since it has the potential to be addicting. 

“I used to take it every day, but I’ve been working myself out of the habit of (taking) it daily. It’s really easy to get caught up in watching what other people are doing and comparing your life to them in a negative way,” Bechtel said. “I think it’s something you have to (put up) personal boundaries (with), like all other social media.” 

Unlike Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, BeReal does not allow endless hours of scrolling through online feeds. The user’s feed consists of their followers and the discovery page, which is more limited compared to other platforms. 

BeReal’s feed is also temporary and not permanent, except in the archive that is used for the end-of-the-year wrap-up. BeReal follows a similar layout to Snapchat, where the BeReals captured disappear with each notification. 

“It’s (a) temporary engagement,” Yahaira Pavon, senior criminology major, said. “There isn’t a big focus on how many people have seen your BeReal or how many likes you get on it. It’s easy and funny to see people’s reactions to your BeReal.” 

Bianca Lagunas, sophomore psychology major, said she likes capturing memories every day and how BeReal does not have as much pressure as other social media platforms to appear a certain way. 

“It allows you to post every day without being considered as annoying, (unlike) Snapchat and Instagram,” Lagunas said. “I love it. You can react to other people’s BeReals, and people’s reactions can be funny depending on the picture. I feel like it’s more (for) close friends.” 

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu.

Taylor Moore, Social Media Editor

Taylor Moore is a senior broadcast journalism major and Campus Times editor-in-chief for Spring 2024. In her sixth semester on Campus Times, she has served as the LV Life editor and social media editor twice, as well as a staff writer. She’s also worked on the University’s television news broadcast Foothill Community News as an anchor and reporter, and was a on-air personality for the University’s radio station 107.9 LeoFM.

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