How The BeReal App Is Changing Social-Media for Gen Z
BeReal has changed the game for social-media platforms and has quickly become a favourite app for Gen-Z, with it currently standing at number 1 for social networking apps in the UK Apple store.
Young people are opting to use ‘authentic’ apps like BeReal rather than Instagram and Facebook, find out why this is, how the app works and how you can jump on the bandwagon within this post.
What Is BeReal?
BeReal is a French social media developed by Alexis Barreyat in 2020, however, the platform only gained popularity and world-wide success within 2022.
At the moment, this photo-sharing app is all anyone’s talking about, especially Gen-Z.
So, if you’re a regular social-media user, you will have heard or seen something about this app. There’s even been a BeReal of King Charles published online, it really is everywhere.
Studies have found that there have been 1.51 million downloads in the UK as of May 2022 (even more so if you download it).
How Does The App Work?
The photo sharing app works by giving everyone a notification which says it’s “Time to BeReal” at a different time everyday where you must share a ‘real’ picture of you to your friends.
You have a two minute window to take the spontaneous image with one image of a selfie and the other with your back camera of what’s in front of you. It’s crazy but, we like all of you, LOVE it.
It shows you what your friends are doing at that random time and what their daily life is like.
Which differs from other forms of social media which can sometimes only show a highlight reel or better yet, the parts of people’s lives they want you to see. Instead, you share photos, of your real life.
The concept of the app is that you’re caught off guard and have to be truthful about what you’re doing, what you look like or who you’re with.
Don’t worry though, if you can’t post a photo when the bereal notification goes off or you forget, you can just post when you’re able to. But, the aim is to stick to the notification so you’re not posting hours late when your post would appear more interesting to others.
Within the app you can comment and react to your friend’s BeReal with a RealMoji, your own emojis representation.
Although, you can only view your friends’ posts if you’ve posted yourself, otherwise they are hidden from view so, you can’t sneakily view people’s profiles like Instagram.
You can also access your previous BeReal’s in an archive which is similar to Snapchat and Instagram’s memory archives, it’s always nice to look back on your old posts!
Download the app for free on iOS or for Android (we must warn you though, you will become a daily user of this app).
How BeReal Is Changing Social-Media
The social-media landscape has changed within recent years, many users are fed up of the ‘fake’ influencer style culture that surrounds apps like Instagram and TikTok.
Essentially, people are bored of consuming content they can’t relate to, they don’t believe is authentic or is manipulated.
How is it changing social media, well, you simply can’t change the images you post for starters. It’s something new in an anti Instagram world.
Whether it’s consuming manipulated images, focusing too much on follower and like counts or comparing yourself to others highlight reels which only show the content people want us to see, can be toxic for our mental health.
Plus, we like seeing a more intimate view of people’s lives, what they are actually up to at that given moment and what they look like, behind the selfies and the posing.
Even more so, a lot of social-media platforms focus too much on advertisement, which as consumers, we’re bored of seeing EVERYWHERE we scroll.
This authentic style of social media isn’t entirely new with BeReal either. People have been opting to post more casual posts for a while, such as ‘photo dumps’ which are collections of random images of our lives.
However, with BeReal, there’s no photo editing or filters that can be used, you simply take a photo with both cameras and post it, so you know that what you see, is what you get.
Not to mention, you can’t see the number of follower counts a person has on BeReal or the number of reactions to posts, which helps to prevent performative behaviour online.
Is BeReal Truly Authentic?
There are ways that content on the app isn’t fully authentic. Such as people receive the 2-minute notification and wait until they’re out doing something interesting.
Rather than posting a photo of them in bed when they first receive the push notification (it’s not exactly being real).
Although, as we said earlier, the notification goes out at different times each day so there will be times where people simply can’t post at that specific time. Instead, people will post when they’re able to such as if they’re asleep or at work.
BeReal’s at work brings a whole other topic of conversation too, as it’s came into light that people are capturing their daily posts whilst at their place of work and may be breaching confidentially by taking photos of their screen.
So, if you are a regular user of the app, be careful when it comes to sharing images of what you’re up to at work.
Why Do Gen-Z Love Being Real?
Social media trends change all the time, but for the last couple of years we really have seen a complete shift in the type of content that Gen-Z consume and post themselves.
It’s obvious that this younger generation aren’t comfortable with content that they don’t deem ‘authentic’ and instead want to focus on an online presence that is more truthful and realistic.
We’ve gone full circle when it comes to social media, as this style of authenticity, without editing, advertisements or influencer culture is what the early days of Facebook, Snapchat, and even Instagram was like.
Sure, there was still toxicity on these platforms, but just a lot less of it.
The main aim of these platforms is to connect with others and to share images of our lives, however, it’s become toxic and exhausting with the rise of influencer marketing and unrealistic beauty standards, which are just parts of the problem.
Not to mention, posting on social-media platforms can be tiring itself, so with BeReal it’s a quick and easy way to share what you’re doing with your friends without all the faff, and the performativity.
BeReal is something new that we all haven’t experienced before, right now, it’s a breath of fresh air for the social media landscape.
It might not be perfectly authentic, and sure there’s some features they could introduce to improve the app, but in a digital world full of fake, it’s nice just to be real.
If you haven’t downloaded the BeReal app yet, why not?! Go check it out and see what you think of it.
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