BeReal requires users to be authentic. Can it stand the test of time?

Your friends are “really” the promise of the app.
Once a day, you get a notification that gives you two minutes to be “real” and take a picture of what you’re up to. On that day, the girl had to be “real” at her grandfather’s funeral. She later shared the experience on TikTok.

It also gives you a chance to see what your friends are doing, and only once you post your candid picture, you can open theirs. To some extent, it stifles at least some pressure to organize or organize your life on the Internet.

There are other hurdles designed to increase the app’s credibility potential as well.
You are advised not to retake a photo – and if you do, you will share with your friends how many exact attempts you took. If you take a photo late, it will be ranked accordingly.
Shot takes a picture from both the front and back camera so you see what’s being framed as well as what’s behind the camera.
There are no likes, no profiles, no followers and absolutely no filters on BeReal.
The app also relies on the unspoken shame of being the user who takes the “comfort” platform seriously.

For example, being late for five hours while you’re doing something fun outside would be a brutal act.

BeReal: Currently one of the most downloaded apps in Australia

Despite – or because of – the stark differences between BeReal and other social media, the app has become increasingly popular. Currently, the French platform, which was launched in 2019, is the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store in Australia.
For 25-year-old student Emma Hilton, the app checks for life’s lulls and the large portions of time you spend doing boring but normal tasks.

“I’m often in bed when he blows up, and I think that’s half of his beauty,” Emma said. feeding.

Emma Hilton has been using BeReal for a month and says the “low-risk” app gives her real glimpses into her friends’ lives. attributed to him: supplied

“You spend your whole day doing really fun things and being outside, and then you lie down to scroll on TikTok and that’s when you explode,” she added with a laugh.

Emma, ​​who has been using the app for about a month, admits to delaying the occasional shot, especially times that coincide with bathroom visits.
“I’m sure few people I own would have really appreciated it if I wasn’t real right now,” she said.

“Sometimes, if I’m in bed too much, I’ll wait until I eat dinner, but nothing is ever pleasant.”

Her intimate relationship is part of Emma’s charm. On the app, it’s just her and about 10 close friends. She believes that this is the reason for her success.
Instagram posts are pretty much the highlight of your life. It’s very contrived, no matter how you use it, because you want people to have a certain perception of you,” she said. I love how normal it is [BeReal] he is.”
The lack of infinite scrolling is also a selling point.

Emma said: “It’s such a small effort and it occupies a very small part of my mind and day.

Can it stand the test of time?

Tama Lever, a professor of Internet studies at Curtin University in Perth who researches social media, is a firm disbeliever. He said that the introduction of the application and the novelty will not last.

“Authenticity is the great myth of social media, and nothing is real on social media,” said Lever. feeding.

“Social media is framed and performative, and this does it differently.”
Jo Price, who has been using the app for a little longer than Emma, ​​who joined in April, said she has moved away from the app’s initial mission statement.
“I don’t use it very original and I will be putting off adding a photo until something interesting happens,” said the 37-year-old. feeding in a message.

“I appreciate that people take it as a photo challenge back in the day because it would be so boring if they looked at it another way.”

What does human nature tell us?

Ash King, a psychologist and researcher with the University of Sydney’s Electronic Psychology Research Group, said that while the app is making clear efforts to achieve its goal, it is still a social media platform where users only reveal what they want others to see.
The ability to accumulate followers, she said, means that users will consciously or unconsciously start coordinating what they post.

“There isn’t much that an app can do for that – we are social creatures built to search for status and community,” King said in a statement to feeding.

On Twitter, one BeReal user predicted the sentiment: “Have you ever seen a BeReal notice and ignored it because it’s overwhelming?”
There is one positive side, King adds.

“But one outcome of the app is that it may lead people to think about how they spend their time… If you are concerned about the core of your ‘memories’ in BeReal, perhaps this is an invitation to re-evaluate how you would prefer your life to look?”

Refreshing… for now

Mr Lever said most other social media platforms were “starting to feel bloated”, as they pinch each other and try to compete with other shows. He said BeReal’s simplicity is refreshing for now.
For now, he says the app raises no more privacy or security concerns than others, and he said users are smart enough to know the risks of revealing their whereabouts at any time.
But one big “warning factor” that can determine his longevity is how he plans to make money. Leaver suspects that it follows a corporate business model of attracting users before monetizing the platform with ads.

“The only way it will continue to be relevant is to slowly build the kind of tools that every other platform has,” he said.

Collage photo of a man looking at his coffee, a man looking at his drink.  Instagram page picture.

Tim Hill on BeReal and Instagram. attributed to him: supplied.

Tim Hill, the app’s user since June and founder of social media analytics app by commerce, said founders need to be comfortable not being number one if they want to stay true to his cause. Otherwise, it will wander into the space of its competitors and lose its core message.

“They need to be satisfied with the niche and know that they are never going to be a widely adopted app. I think this is probably a really powerful way to use and a way of not pissing people off over time.”

The feed requested comment from BeReal.

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