new French social community that promotes “actual life”

What is BeReal?


BeReal, “be real”: the tone is set. This app, which has been making a lot of noise lately, was created by Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau in 2020. The concept is relatively simple but effective.

Every day, BeReal randomly sends a notification to the smartphones of all users of the application: “It’s BeReal time. You have two minutes to record BeReal and see what your friends are up to! » can we read.

From that moment on, internet users have two minutes to take a photo and post it on the platform. One of the special features of the application lies in the way the photo is taken: the front and rear cameras are activated at the same time, which allows you to see what is happening in front of and behind the smartphone. Objective: to encourage instantaneity, with images taken on the spot, without filters. Plus, your friends will see how many times a photo was taken before it was published!

Another special feature of the application: if you do not publish your photo, you will not be able to consult the photos of your friends. A way to avoid hiding behind a screen and become an actor in an exchange. Moreover, don’t panic if you miss the notification, it is possible to publish “Late BeReal” at any time.

BeReal also offers several options for interacting on the platform. It is possible to post comments below the posts or react thanks to RealMojis (emojis created from photos).

BeReal is life, real life, and that life is without filters and without likes, says the application.

BeReal Discovery

At BeReal, the goal is to discover the “real” lives of your friends. But you can also navigate through the section Discovery, which brings together photos of users around the world who have activated public mode. This makes it possible to discover the daily lives of Internet users located in South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, a country where the application is becoming more extensive.

Social network against electricity

After 2 years of existence and stable growth, BeReal seems to have gained more fame in recent months. Indeed, since the beginning of the year, the number of monthly active users has increased by 315%. Greater popularity, which leads the application to over 7.4 million downloads, of which 65% were in 2022.

Last March, BeReal was downloaded over 2 million times. © Apptopia

But how to explain such success, in an environment where there is a quasi-monopoly of the largest American and Chinese platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok?

Certainly thanks to the innovative concept of BeReal, the opposite of what we find on social media today. The application does not offer filters, editing tools or infinite scrolling. The goal is no longer to keep you on the platform for hours, to earn even more money, but to return to the basics: chatting with friends.

BeReal will not make you famous or famous, if you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram, we can read in the description of the application on the App Store.

Application limitations

If BeReal has been experiencing some enthusiasm for several months now, it’s hard to say whether this French social network will be able to fully impose itself on the digital giants. There are currently some limitations to the app:

  • Innovation: for now, there are several innovative features on BeReal. And with good reason, only two developers work on the app on a daily basis! In addition, the social network recently announced a new feature that allows access to the history of its BeReal, via a calendar integrated into the app.
  • Repetition: some users seem to feel a certain tiredness, due to clichés that remain similar during the week: a photo of his desk at work, a live recording of a sofa … “Real” life does not seem attractive enough to some users.
  • Business model: knowing that the application is based on a model where users connect only once a day, it is currently difficult to imagine a profitable economic model.
  • Technical problems: every time a notification is sent to smartphones, BeReal experiences a simultaneous peak of connection, with several thousand users wanting to record their BeReal at the same time. As a result, the servers are tense and sometimes technical errors occur. But the co-founders always find the word to laugh!

So, is BeReal just fashion like Clubhouse, or on the contrary, a new platform that will become part of our habits? Hard to say. One thing is for sure, the French social network has the merit of wanting to offer alternatives to social networks that are sometimes considered harmful.

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