Beginner’s Guide to BeReal, the new French social media app

Can you imagine a social media that force you to show yourself to your followers just as you are in a precise moment without any previous warning? Well, buckle your seatbelt because BeReal will make you share the backstage of your day-to-day life.


Random picture at gynecologist appointment


BeReal is the new trending app in the social media world since it’s bringing up this fresh and fun proposal for sharing your moments with your friends. This French app developed by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau is currently valued at $600 million! With an average of 7.9 million active users on daily basis.

“Your friends for real” is the slogan of the now popular app. With that vision, they want to present a different perspective of the algorithmic controlled feeds and highly produced content that now are common on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok where there is fierce competition to be always on trend.


BeReal slogan


What is the motivation behind BeReal?

With the giants of social media dominating every aspect of our lives, it can feel a little bit frustrating to be surrounded by perfect scenarios: dreamy breakfasts at the pool, sculptural bodies walking by the beach, flawless makeup and hair 24/7, incredible parties that never seem to end… Well, BeReal is here to turn upside down what we think is the “right content” to post.

Whether you are in the bathroom, cleaning your dog’s mess, or giving your grandma the pedi you promised, BeReal will ask you to make your daily post without giving any chance for someone to alter or glamorize whatever they are doing or how they look doing it.

These characteristics are looking to give back the joy of using social media platforms without the crashing expectations and the anxiety of trying to present a great impression of our lives in everyone’s eyes.

So… How does BeReal work then?

To start using this enigmatic platform first you need to know a few things:

  • You will have only 2 minutes to come out with a decent (or maybe not) photo: The app will send you a notification to remind you to take the picture and the clock will start ticking. It also will show how many attempts it took you to get the picture you post. P.S: you won’t have access to your gallery. So you better hurry up!
  • If you miss the 2 min window for the daily post you can still share a picture: the only detail is that it will show as a late post, and will include exactly how late it was when you posted it.
  • You can do your BeReal just once a day: It doesn’t matter how desperate you are to show your friends all the cool stuff you’re doing, if you already made your BeReal there’s no turning back. You’ll have to wait for the next notification to prove to them you’re not bored as hell!
  • BeReal will do a double shot, front and back camera: to make the experience even more compromising. Dirty kitchen? Clothes and underwear all over your desk? Be careful! It’s all gonna show. However, here’s a little trick. Some users discovered that there are a few seconds of difference between both shots, that’s how they manage to take two selfies. You just have to take the first one and quickly turn the camera around and voila. You’ll have your friends wondering how you did it!
  • You can also share your BeReal with the world: enabling the option, your post will be available for anyone that bumps into it on the “discovery” feed. On the “discovery” feed you can find exactly what hundreds of people around the world were doing at the exact moment they all received the BeReal call. What an amazing way to feel connected!

Here are some examples of what you can find out there:

How to forget this not-flattering BeReal during a Harry’s concert

Harry Styles takes a BeReal during concert


This legend was having the time of his life at Hooters and wanted to share it with his friends

Old man post on BeReal having a great time at Hooters


Reality or fiction? Let’s just hope that person is safe now

BeReal during a domestic fire

What we love about BeReal

  • There’s no such thing as followers: you can add as many friends as you want, but they will only be able to see your post as long as they post theirs. In this way, it prevents people from using their influence on other platforms to get more interaction or any kind of non-organic behavior. So, if you’re planning to download the app to make yourself famous we have some bad news for you.
  • No more never-ending scrolling: once you upload a new picture the last one will be stored automatically on “memories” and won’t be available for your friends. This makes your feed easy to go through and ensures you will see all your friend’s pictures and won’t be overwhelmed with previous posts.
  • Everything revolves around enjoying the experience of social media again: forget about filters, good illumination, or aesthetic poses. Just be you, right now, right there. Without the pressure of looking excessively good, everything becomes way more fun! Laugh with your friends on this spontaneous break during the day.
  • We love Instant Realmoji: to make emoji reactions even better, you can create your own reaction with your face and make it adequate for the occasion.
  • Synchronized connection: since all users receive the notification at the same time you will have great content to check as soon as you post your BeReal.

Downsides of BeReal

There are a lot of people arguing that, despite all the efforts, BeReal is not as genuine as they want to sell it and that it is making seem everyone’s lives boring. And yes, it is true that most of the pictures that you’re going to find are “lazy” people on their beds watching tv or working/studying at their desks but: maybe the problem is not that they are boring but that we are so used to this embellished reality where everyone is doing something incredible that we get lost in it.

There’s also the case where people are expecting the surprise notification to run and find something clever or funny to show to their friends within 2 minutes. But, even when there’s a little bit of premeditation, it can’t really reach that much production, or at least you are not going to be able to make a reservation in a fancy restaurant or jump into your water skies for the pic.

What can we learn using BeReal?

Whether you like it or hate it, BeReal is showing us a side of the coin that has been hidden for too long now and there are a few things that it can teach us when it comes to our relationship with social media:

  1. Unless you’re Bear Grylls or some kind of animal tamer, your average days are going to be well, pretty calm: and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, especially now when remote work is so spread and a lot of tasks can be done from a computer. Don’t forget that “monotony” is also comfort and many people would kill for it, so don’t take it for granted.
  2. You can find the funny and curious part of your everyday routine: what might be common for you could be a complete surprise for your friends so don’t let anybody stop you from posting your daily snack, what’s your pet doing when you’re around or that recipe that you took the risk to prepare for dinner.
  3. Ground your perception about your friends’ lives: how many times you have filled like everyone is celebrating while you’re drowning in responsibilities? Well, BeReal can show you once and for all that, every vacation, every party, and each good meal comes with hard work. It can even motivate you to realize that you’re not alone during your busy days.
  4. It will make us appreciate our exciting days even more: maybe among all the “boring” everyday pictures in the app, you can make yourself conscious and grateful for those special moments you were out of the routine that you were able to capture and of course, also for the ones that were beside you in each of them. It doesn’t matter if you’re cozy at home or at the top of Everest, every moment deserves at least a little bit of appreciation on our behalf.

Is BeReal going to keep growing or is it just another passing fashion?

Is BeReal going to be forever? We don’t know, but what is definitely true, is that the popularity and excitement of this new modality aren’t a coincidence or a random event. People are looking for places to feel safe again. Maybe this movement should ring the alarm among the creators of those reckless algorithms that are demanding every time more effort from content creators. Social media is a business and that is a fact that’s not going to change. But it is important to remember that there are real people behind those profiles. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a new kind of entrepreneur that put the well-being of their users first.

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