BeReal, the anti-Instagram that makes life more “real”

BeReal, the anti-Instagram that makes life more “real”

Suddenly, I see them stopping all activity, to get excited, smartphone in hand. And hear them justify fervently: “It’s BeReal time!” » How many parents have recently noticed this strange behavior in their high school or student offspring? This sudden and urgent need to take a picture on the fly? The “beryl” phenomenon – that’s how it is pronounced – explodes into the daily lives of families for a good year.

Invented in 2020 by Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, two young French developers, the BeReal app sets its pace on 20 million users worldwide, every day. Whoever downloaded it (for free) receives a notification once a day, at different times. The task is given, for the next two minutes, to photograph his face and his immediate environment, as the front and back cameras of the phone work almost simultaneously. These two adjacent shots then become visible to a select network of acquaintances.

“Keep smiling and don’t change a thing”And Reads on the phone when taking a selfie. Unsurprisingly, the photo-sharing app, whose name means “be real,” Promotes authenticity – and sharing, as you have to post your own BeReal to discover those of others. It eliminates likes or subscribers counters, filters and retouching, and ads. Houspille that doubles the shots before posting: the number of attempts is also indicated under the final photo on which the possible delay (compared to the two minutes of accuracy) is also indicated. Until the infamous message is sent to less spontaneous users: “Did you understand what a BeReal is? 13% of your BeReals completed on time.”

“Show who you really are”

scary? The reason is commendable, as the phone app’s website says: “Find out what your friends are really doing in their daily lives.” Show them who you really are. » be realistic “It won’t make you famous.”. Furthermore it, “If you want to become an influencer, stay on TikTok or Instagram.”. In short, on BeReal, ordinary life is exposed, with no artifice, no effect or risk of addiction (only one post per day is allowed), in a series of unattractive meals, rooms in the bazaar, ominous open spaces, keyboards, screens, dogs, cats under the lights. Dimmable.

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And he is satisfied. Without any advertising, usage of the app exploded last year. It has been downloaded 75 million times, according to US company Sensor Tower – just over 77 million times since its launch in 2020. The country is most fond of this return to reality (33% of downloads), ahead of the US. Saudi Arabia (9%), then France (6%). At the end of November 2022, BeReal won the iPhone App of the Year award. It is being imitated by TikTok, Instagram or Snapchat, which quickly charted new features. “What is your BeReal?” » replace now “What’s your Snap?” » in approach maneuvers. As a group, the question stands out from all sides, at the fateful hour of notification: “Would you like to be on my BeReal?”

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