New social media app BeReal challenges hallmarks of online personas

New social media app BeReal challenges hallmarks of online personas


BeReal sends out a notification once a day prompting users to take a photo with their phone’s back and front cameras simultaneously. There’s no time to filter, edit, or curate.

Callie Booth, a student at William and Mary College in Virginia, said her experience on a new social media app has allowed her to feel closer with her friends and see an unfiltered view of their lives.

“It really makes you think about how everyone has somewhat of a boring life,” she said. “Everybody goes through all these small monotonous moments, but they’re all meaningful in a way, and they can still share them with each other.”

The app, BeReal, was created by Alexis Barreyat, a previous media producer at GoPro and video producer at Worm, according to a statement provided by the company.

“(BeReal) is a place where real life is captured, free from the need to create, cultivate and amass influence. By not focusing on followers, likes and filters, BeReal connects users with spontaneity and authenticity,” according to a statement from the company.

BeReal users get a once-a-day notification, saying, “Time to BeReal.” They then have two minutes to post a picture using the back and front camera simultaneously on their phone. Users can post after the two-minute window but they’ll be marked “late.”

Users can’t see what their friends posted until after they post. Added friends on BeReal can also react and comment on the posts.

Several BeReal users also share their daily snaps on other social media as well.

The app itself has an Instagram page with a single video and words, “What if social media was different than this?” scrawled across it followed by information about the app.

Social media has long been criticized for being harmful to the mental health of users.

A 2019 study from JAMA Psychiatry suggested teenagers who use social media for more than three hours every day are more likely to deal with depression and anxiety.

According to a statement describing the company’s philosophy, BeReal wants to make people feel good about themselves and their lives.

“We want an alternative to addictive social networks fueling social comparison,” according to the statement.

Users have shared their experiences on other social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok.

Booth tweeted “Getting BeReal reactions really is the highlight of my day.”

One user on TikTok posted a video of a gorgeous place they were visiting saying, “If my BeReal doesn’t come on when I’m literally here. I’m going to be fuming.”

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