What Is BeReal?
If you thought BeReal was a brand new app in 2023, then you’re not alone. But in fact, former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat created the BeReal app in 2020. BeReal is a social media app that has become extremely popular among Gen Z users, even though BeReal doesn’t actively market or advertise. And in the latest news, downloads recently surpassed even heavyweight social media apps like Instagram.
Let’s take a closer look at what BeReal is, what sets it apart, and how businesses can leverage BeReal’s unique structure.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a social media platform with a very different format. While Instagram’s algorithms work to keep users engaged for as long as possible, BeReal actually focuses on shorter, more meaningful interactions. Social media users love that BeReal focuses on authenticity, and the app encourages real, unfiltered, uncurated photos.
How Does BeReal Work?
Each day at a different time, the BeReal app notifies you and your friends to get ready to post. You get a two-minute notice, and then the posting begins. But when you take a photo, the app uses the front and back cameras to create your post to show you in realtime as well as your surroundings or where you are. Unlike other social media apps, you don’t use hashtags, and while you can write a caption, you don’t have to.
The goal is for you and all your friends to take an honest, authentic photo during your time each day. You don’t have to post during the time slot, but your post will show how late you are if you don’t make it in time. Of course, you can skip posting for the day. But BeReal has become so popular because many users are loving the format. In every specific BeReal time zone, all BeReal users receive notifications for posting simultaneously. The “time zones” are America, Europe, East Asia & West Asia. So even if you’re living in Maine, you’ll post at the same time as your friend in California.
How to Post on BeReal
The posting time is a random time every day, and you only get two minutes’ notice from a push notification. The focus is on taking real, unstaged photos showing you and what you’re doing. And when you’re taking a selfie, you cannot see yourself until you’ve taken the double photo. If you don’t like how it turned out, you can try again within your two-minute window. This process makes it challenging to create posed, staged photos with tons of filters and perfect lighting—and that’s what users love so much about it.
The other part of BeReal is seeing all your friends’ posts. You can react with a RealMoji, rather than the usual emojis or react options on other social media platforms. To make a RealMoji, you take a selfie and make the expression or movement you want to react with. For example, if you thought a photo was funny, you’d take a picture of yourself smiling or laughing. One last catch: if you want to see what your friends posted, you’ll need to post a BeReal photo, too.
Is BeReal Safe?
Many users and parents love BeReal because it doesn’t encourage performative posts and focuses on real life and authenticity. You are even able to see how many times someone retook a picture in a two-minute span. Unlike other social networking apps, BeReal doesn’t show how many followers someone has, and you can’t see how many people have reacted to a BeReal post. And BeReal doesn’t encourage sharing as much personal information as other apps. Many young people love this social app because it doesn’t incentivize competition or comparison. BeReal isn’t about fabricating a perfect life—it’s about showing a slice of daily life.
Created in France, BeReal processes your user data under French privacy laws and the EU’s Data Protection Act. And according to BeReal’s privacy notice, you do not have to participate in the geolocation function. Users can refuse to give permission when first opening the app or change their permission later in the phone’s settings.
Can Businesses Use BeReal?
Millennials and Gen Zers place a high value on authenticity and genuine interaction with each other and businesses and brands. BeReal is still growing, but there may be a lot of potentials for brands to work within the app to reach a BeReal user with realistic, unpolished photos relating to the brand.
How to Use BeReal for Business
The key to using BeReal as a business is to shift strategies. While this photo-sharing app isn’t the right place for overt promotion, it could be a great way to drive brand awareness and create or reinforce positive feelings about a brand. For example, the C-level executives could take turns with the BeReal account. When someone gets a BeReal notification, they could create a post of what they’re doing, whether it’s sitting in a board meeting or designing a new product. Or, the business could use its BeReal post each day to showcase an employee or department. Similar to Instagram’s “Close Friends” feature, BeReal is a great way to promote private discounts or sales to select members of your target audience.
Pros and Cons to BeReal for Business
The social platform’s popularity means that many businesses are taking notice and thinking about how to get involved. BeReal discourages staged photos and blatant selling. However, some brands may benefit from the personal, genuine style that BeReal encourages.
If you want to utilize BeReal for your business but aren’t sure how to begin, you can partner with a digital marketing agency like Giant Propeller to help identify your BeReal audience, and provide ongoing BeReal strategy and organic social expertise.
Learn more about how Giant Propeller can help you and your growing business through our brand growth program.
How to Delete a BeReal Post
If you change your mind about your posted photo, you can delete it. But you can only delete it once and retake it once if you have already hit ‘post.’ When you delete it, the app will ask you to select a reason for the deletion. Quickly taking a photo and letting it stand on its own is a big adjustment from other apps. However, that fits in with BeReal’s overall goal: to show real life and encourage authentic interaction without spending too much time editing and refining a post.
How to Get BeReal
The BeReal app is free in both the Google Play store and the iOS app store. Create an account by entering your phone number, full name, username, and password. Friend people by letting BeReal search your contacts. So far, BeReal is available in seven languages, and you can see where your friends are in the world on a map. If you’re looking for an anti-Instagram app that emphasizes real connection, then BeReal might be really good for you and your growing business.