“BeReal won’t make you famous,” reads its
A BeReal alert goes off once a day, giving you a two-minute window to take a photo. If used as designed, you’re forced to post whatever you’re doing when it goes off, theoretically making it more authentic than other platforms where you can carefully stage your photos and apply flattering filters. The other draw of the app is that everyone posts at the same time, so you only have to look at it once a day. I thought the platform had the potential to do what
While BeReal gives you a two-minute window to post, it still allows you to post later in the day. You just can’t view your friends’ posts until you post. Because of this workaround many users simply wait until they’re doing something notable to post, which defeats the intended purpose of the platform. It also causes you to be constantly inundated with notifications of your friends posting throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong: It’s still fun to see the highlights of my friends’ day, but there isn’t anything novel or subversive about that. I could just watch their Instagram Stories instead.
I understand why you might be inclined to post the best part of your day on BeReal. When I downloaded the app I only added my close friends, treating the app like a
In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen BeReals popping up in Instagram Stories and TikToks. BeReals capture your front and back camera, making for an alternative addition to your photo dumps. BeReal has filled the space VSCO and Huji left behind as apps that elevate your feeds on other social media platforms. I knew BeReal had solidified its place in the social media ecosystem when
Credit: TikTok / bee.austin
Getting a selfie is no longer enough, but getting a BeReal? That’s new and exciting. BeReals are the new selfie. They capture more than the traditional selfie, and if you’re savvy enough to time your BeReal just so, like @bee.austin did, you can fit two selfies into one. The trendiest BeReals take advantage of popularity of the high-wide angle lens, creating an entirely new genre of selfie.
Unfortunately, what was marketed as an authentic social media platform is now just another way to commodify your life.