the new French social network that promotes “real life”

What is BeReal?

The concept

BeReal, “be real”: the tone is set. This application, which has been making a lot of noise lately, was created by Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau in 2020. The concept is relatively simple, but effective.

Every day, BeReal sends a notification to the smartphones of all app users, randomly: “It’s BeReal time. You have two minutes to capture a BeReal, and see what your friends are up to! » can we read.

From that moment, Internet users have two minutes to capture a photo and post it on the platform. One of the particularities of the application lies in the way of taking the photo: the front and rear cameras are triggered at the same time, thus making it possible to see what is happening in front of and behind the smartphone. The objective: to push for instantaneity, with shots taken on the spot, without filter. Besides, your friends will see the number of times the photo was taken before it was posted!

Another singularity of the application: if you do not post your photo, you will not be able to consult those of your friends. A way to avoid hiding behind your screen, and to become an actor in the exchanges. Moreover, do not panic if you miss the notification, it is possible to post “Late BeReal” at any time.

BeReal also offers several options for interacting on the platform. It is possible to post comments under the posts, or react with RealMojis (emojis created from photos).

BeReal is life, real life, and that life is without filters and without likes, the app says.

BeReal Discovery

On BeReal, the objective is to discover the “real” life of your friends. But you can also navigate through the section Discovery, which gathers photos of users all over the world, and who have activated the public mode. Thus, it is possible to discover the daily life of Internet users located in South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, a country where the application is becoming more and more widespread.

A counter-current social network

After 2 years of existence and stable growth, BeReal seems to have gained more notoriety in recent months. Indeed, since the beginning of the year, the number of monthly active users has increased by 315%. A higher speed, which brings the application to more than 7.4 million downloads, of which 65% of them took place in 2022.

Last March, BeReal was downloaded over 2 million times. © Apptopia

But, how to explain such a success, in an environment where there is a virtual monopoly of the biggest American and Chinese platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok?

Most certainly thanks to the innovative concept of BeReal, the opposite of what we find today on social networks. The application does not offer filters, editing tools or infinite scroll. The goal is no longer to keep you on the platform for hours, to earn even more money, but to get back to basics: chatting with friends.

BeReal will not make you known or famous, if you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram, can we read in the description of the application on the App Store.

The limits of the application

If BeReal has been experiencing a certain enthusiasm for a few months, it is difficult to say whether this French social network will be able to win against the digital giants. At present, there are indeed some limitations to the application:

  • Innovation: for now, there are few innovative features on BeReal. And for good reason, only two developers work on the application on a daily basis! In addition, the social network recently released a new function that allows access to the history of its BeReal, via a calendar integrated into the app.
  • Repetition : some users seem to feel a certain weariness, because of the clichés that remain similar during the week: photo of his desk at work, live shot of the sofa… “Real” life does not seem worrying enough for some users.
  • The business model: Knowing that the application is based on a model where users only connect once a day, it is currently difficult to imagine a laudable economic model.
  • Technical issues: each time a notification is sent to smartphones, BeReal knows a simultaneous connection photo, with several thousand users who want to capture their BeReal at the same time. As a result, the servers are strained and technical bugs sometimes appear. But the co-founders always find a word to laugh about it!

So, is BeReal just a fad like Clubhouse, or on the contrary, a new platform that will become part of our habits? Hard to say. One thing is certain, the French social network has the merit of wanting to offer alternatives to social networks sometimes considered harmful.

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