BeReal popped recently as the latest in a string of social photo apps to explode in popularity across college campuses and among Gen Z.
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It follows the likes of Dispo, Poparazzi and Snapchat in helping users candidly document their day and share photos of those moments with their friends The app shot up the App Store rankings and became popular among users outside of France, where it was created in 2020.
Since you’ll likely be hearing about BeReal from your friends or the young cool people in your life, here’s a quick summary on what the buzz is all about.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a new photo sharing app that lets users share a daily snapshot of their day. Once a day—at a random time—users receive a notification from the app that it’s time to post their BeReal of the day. Users have two minutes to take a photo of whatever they’re doing, and just as the back-facing camera on their phone snaps their activity, the front-facing camera takes a photo of the user.
Users can retake a photo or post outside of the two-minute window, but their friends will see that they did so. And there’s no filtering or editing the image, so it really is real.
Users can also only see what their friends are up to once they post their own BeReal of the day.
Why is BeReal so popular?
BeReal leans into the idea of authenticity that Gen Z has embraced. It’s not featuring highly edited photos or curated, filtered content; it’s showing candidly what users are up to and what their day-to-day life is really like.
Other photosharing apps have embraced this idea as well, like Dispo and Poparazzi. They go against the highly edited look that’s become synonymous with Instagram.
The idea behind BeReal seems catchy with users, with the app ranked second in the social networking category on the App Store. BeReal saw 315 percent growth in roughly the first quarter of the year, according to Apptopia.
Investors began funding the Paris-based company last year. BeReal has raised at least $30 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase. It raised a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz in June 2021, and is also backed by other investors like Accel and DST Global.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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