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BeReal: A more authentic trend that’s rivaling TikTok

Leri Koen

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There’s a new social media making waves as it gains in popularity and even causes TikTok to take notice. BeReal is a relatively new social media app that’s completely transforming the way social media apps are used. The app has recently gained a lot of popularity and is one of the most original social media apps to be released after TikTok. However, what is all the hype about, and will this trend last?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at BeReal, its features, and what makes it different from other apps. Then we’ll also look at TikTok’s response to this new trend with their release of TikTok Now.

BeReal: A more authentic trend that’s rivaling TikTok

What is BeReal?

BeReal is an original photo-sharing social media app that was released in 2020. However, it’s been flying under the radar until this year, when it suddenly gained a massive spike in popularity. Since the beginning of this year, the app’s downloads have increased by 315%. It’s also currently ranked as the fourth most downloaded social media app after Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal encourages users to live in the moment and be their authentic selves. As such, the app has no filters and no editing tools. Instead, users will be asked to take a photo at a random time each day. Users won’t know what time it will be, so there’s no way to stage the photos, and at that moment, the app will take a photo with both the back and selfie camera of your phone. This means you’ll get a photo of yourself and what you’re currently doing.

Features of BeReal

It can be a little intimidating to start using BeReal, especially if you’ve become accustomed to staging your selfies for other platforms. With BeReal, there’s no time to check your hair and makeup or adjust the lighting. Instead, you’ll get raw, in-the-moment images. If you can get over the initial shock, it’s a much more authentic way to use social media and gives users a chance to really capture the moment.

BeReal sends out a notification at a random time each day to all its users. Once you receive the notification, you only have a few minutes to open the app and take a photo. When you take the photo, the app will use both the front and back cameras. When taking the photo, you’ll only be able to see one camera’s view, meaning the other will be a complete surprise.

BeReal and TikTok

Another feature that makes the app unique is that you’ll only have this one 2-minute period each day to take a photo. So there’s no waiting for a better time. If you miss the 2-minute period, you can still submit a photo, but all the friends on your network will be notified that you posted late. If you don’t post a photo on a particular day, you also won’t be able to see your friends’ photos for that day. This is an exciting way to get users to interact on a daily basis and actively participate. 

Once you’ve posted your daily BeReal, you’ll be able to make a caption to give some context to what’s going on. You’ll also be able to view your friends’ photos, leave comments, and interact in a fun way. BeReal also has its own set of emojis called RealMojis. Instead of sending an animated smiley face, your face and expression will become the emoji. This way, you can send your friends a true and accurate reaction.

The app also stores all your photos on your profile. Here you can see a calendar view with the photo taken on that day. This is a really nice feature as it gives you an honest overview of who you are and your daily life. 

BeReal and TikTok

One of the main benefits of BeReal is that it isn’t a procrastination app. You simply get your notification, take your picture, spend some time viewing, reacting, and commenting on your friends’ posts, and then you carry on with your day. No spending hours doing makeup, posing for the perfect shot, and then editing it to make sure it’s just right. With BeReal, it’s all about being exactly who you are and celebrating the moment.

What is TikTok Now?

In light of BeReal’s growing popularity in the last couple of months, TikTok has taken a page from the platform’s book and launched TikTok Now. This is an in-app feature available in the US and a standalone app for other regions.

BeReal and TikTok

TikTok Now is basically just a copy of BeReal and sends a notification Time to Now’. Once you tap on it, you’ll have three minutes to take a photo, and similarly to BeReal, it will take a shot with both front and back cameras. 

Privacy related to these apps

Whenever you share photos and videos online, there is a risk to your privacy. However, both BeReal and TikTok Now have taken some measures to protect your privacy. For one, by default, you can only see your friends’ photos and only have friends see yours. Another one is that they have age limits. On both platforms, you have to be older than 18 to post on the public ‘Discover’ and ‘Explore’ feeds, and you have to enable this from within your settings. For users between 13 -15 years old, only friends are able to see or comment on your photos.

However, as we’ve seen recently with Apple’s privacy issues and many others, it’s not wise to simply trust an app to protect you. As a user, you also have to ensure you protect your privacy, such as not sharing with the public unless you’re ready to take the consequences and always being mindful of the content you share.

The real question is, how much do we value our privacy if we’re so willing to share every aspect of our lives?

Start making social media more authentic with BeReal

BeReal is making waves as it’s a new social media platform that completely flips the narrative of photo-sharing on its head. With this app, you share in the moment, unaltered and unfiltered images from your daily life with other people. This app is great for showing exactly who you are, your true authentic self.

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