BeReal App: What Is and How It Works

updated July 27, 2023
Reading time7 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

Have you heard about the BeReal App? It has become a new trend among Generation Z, and more and more people are starting to drive their attention to what this new social media platform is about, and what it has to offer. 

The digital world is in constant evolution, and, although it isn't necessary to be present on all the social media platforms or in any of them when we talk about personal matters. When it comes to business and marketing, the situation is different. A brand needs to stay tuned into the rise of new networks, such as BeReal, and consider its potential to reach part of its target audience.

But to do that, first, you need to understand what the BeReal app is, how it works, and how to use it, right? Check out the article to know more about it. 

What Is The BeReal App?

BeReal App website home page

While apps like Instagram, and  TikTok allow you to create a version of your life and curate the moments you wish to show, the BeReal app wants to make true to its name. Its essence is posting photos without any edition or being curated. No filters or anything, just a picture of how you are at the moment, even with messy hair or dark circles around your eyes. 

According to a Facebook research, 32% of teens girls that felt bad about their bodies, felt even worse because of Instagram. The Canadian study The effects of active social media engagement with peers on body image in young women, revealed that  "engagement with attractive peers increases negative state body image."

As we can see there is an increasing concern about how highly edited photos and videos can affect self-perception and damage self-esteem. The images we are seeing on social media aren't an accurate representation of reality. Many people forget about that fact, and that has presented a problem. And where does BeReal enter in all of that? 

Its slogan is "Your Friends for Real". First, you create an account, and add your friends, then is it time to take your first picture? Not exactly. You only can post when you receive a notification from the app. Besides, you will see what your friends have posted only if you send your photo too. 

How Does The BeReal App Work?

With the BeReal App, you can't post anytime you want. You will receive a notification to publish a photo, but the thing is, you only have 2 minutes to take it. 

BeReal notification where it says "2 min left to capture a BeReal an see what your friends are up to!"

The purpose of giving a limited time is to encourage users to make spontaneous takes, so their followers can see them in their daily lives. Brushing their teeth, laying in bed watching a tv show, not only in breathtaking landscapes, or with stunning outfits. 

The idea of allowing only people who posted their pictures to see the other ones is a way to encourage users. It helps them to not feel ashamed to publish too

BeReal app screen showing several posts. At the top of the image it's written "All your friends post at the same time".

The post on your BeReal page will show the photo taken in the front and back cameras from your smartphone. But, you can choose which one will appear bigger on the screen, and the other one will be on the side, on a small rectangle. 

If you received a notification from BeReal but weren't able to take the picture on time, you can post it later. The publication will be shown with the label "x hours late". You have the option to share your location or not. Another detail is that nobody can see how many followers the other person has. 

Previous BeReal posts can't be seen by anyone. The idea isn't to create a page where people can scroll the feed and see what you have published in the past. There is the "Memories" feature, where only you can look at your previous publications, who follow you don't have access to that.  

How to Use The BeReal App?

  1. Download the app version for iOS or Android;
  2. Follow the instructions to create your account;
  3. BeReal App will request access to your contacts to identify who from your friends already has an account. You can choose to allow it or not;
  4. Enable notifications on your smartphone to know when it's time to take the picture of the day.
  5. Make your first publication. A timer will appear on the screen and you can take the picture within 2 minutes.

BeReal screen where you take the photo

Now you are all set. Just wait to be added by your friends, and use the discovery section to see what others have posted as well. To find your friends without using the contact list, you can go to the search bar and look for their usernames on the platform. 

You have the option to make your posts available only for the friends you add or to everyone in the app. But, just people who publish their photos can see the photo you took. Even if the person is on your friends' list, if they don't post, they can't see anything. 

How do I React To Other People's Posts in BeReal?

There is no like or share button in the BeReal app,  but it doesn't mean you can't interact with your friends' posts. On the side of their photos, there is a smiley face icon. When you click on it, you can choose the emoji you wish to send them, or make a RealMojis.

The image shows people reaction to a BeReal post

The RealMojis are kind of the BeReal version of emojis. Press the smiley face icon until the front camera is activated. Then, make a RealMoji with your face, and slide your finger on the screen to send it. 

BeReal App and Digital Marketing

According to an Apptopia report, around 41 million people have downloaded the BeReal app in 2022. Most of them are in the USA, with 40% of the new users coming from this country. This significant growth certainly catches the attention of digital marketing experts.

Is it possible to enjoy the BeReal app for brands? How to plan marketing strategies with a social media platform that doesn't tell you when you are going to be able to publish your next post? Nor enable uploading pictures taken before the publish time? Those are all relevant questions that the marketing area still needs to reflect upon. 

On the other hand, we can't say if this trend will last. Is the BeReal app here to stay, or is it going to be like ClubHouse? For a short period, this social media focused on audio became a success, and different niches were using and talking about it. The ClubHouse didn't remain strong and quickly lost its relevance. 

We can't say if this will happen with the BeReal app. They are still developing, and new features may arise including ones that allow adding ads.  For now, let's keep our heads up to see the updates and don't miss opportunities.

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