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OPLIN 4Cast #798: Can the BeReal app change social media reality for the better?

Posted in Social Networks

It seems its only been a minute since TikTok came on the scene and skyrocketed to popularity with younger demographics. (Not just a minute; it has been around since 2016.) There’s a new kid in town, and the niche BeReal is attempting to fill is definitely unique. It sits in a place in the cultural zeitgeist that is anti-Instagram, anti-social media. No filters, no photo editing and, most interestingly, no pre-planning. The BeReal app is already gaining significant traction on college campuses and with GenZ. Will it shift the conversation around social media entirely?

  • Gen Z’s new favorite app [Axios] “In a push toward authenticity, the app snaps photos from the phone’s front and back cameras simultaneously, showing where you are and what you’re doing at the same time. Because users have to send posts within two minutes of getting a randomly-timed notification, they don’t have time to make fancy adjustments. Also, the app doesn’t include any photo editing tools.”
  • Rising Social App BeReal is Gaining Momentum, with Downloads Up 315% This Year [Social Media Today] “As you can see, BeReal’s momentum is increasing, and while we’re only talking about the low millions right now (BeReal has been installed 7.41 million times to date), that chart is on a sharp incline, which points to the desire for more honest, raw depictions of people’s real life experiences, away from the airbrushed, edited, background warped photos that have become the norm in many of the top apps.”
  • BeReal Isn’t Real and Makes Everyone Look Extremely Boring [Vice] “I have been using BeReal for three weeks now, and it’s fun because it is ever so slightly different than the other apps and interesting enough that I have not yet deleted it. It is not, however, “real” in any sense of the word. If Instagram has the problem of making people’s lives look artificially glamorous, BeReal has the problem of making people’s lives look extremely (EXTREMELY) boring.”
  • What is the BeReal app and why is everyone suddenly using it? [The Tab] “It’s pretty similar to Snapchat in the sense that you can quickly take pictures and send them off. But the difference is that it’s only one daily photo which disappears the next time the app notifies you to take a new one the day after. Plus the notification to post can come at literally any moment and it only allows you two minutes to post something. It gets even more savage though because your followers can even see how many retakes you did and even get notified if you post something late.”

From the Ohio Web Library: