Is BeReal Meetings Its Lofty Goals?


A popular social media app is promising to eradicate the lies of photoshop and filters. But is it having its desired impact?

Targeted towards the most frequent users of social media, teenagers, BeReal has almost become a social normalcy of everyday life. It is not uncommon to be at the grocery store, at a concert, or on campus and see groups of high school students taking out their phones and saying, “Time to BeReal!” The app has even promoted itself on TikTok, another prominent social media platform used by teenagers, by starting a trend where people post their BeReal of the day, no matter how absurd it may be.

Originally released in 2019 but quickly gaining popularity in 2022, BeReal is an app which aims to call out the lies of photoshop and false realities of other social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. At any given time of the day, the app sends out a notification in which you have two minutes to take a picture of whatever you’re doing — no filters, no time to prepare, just, as the app states, the “real you.”

Founder Alexis Barreyat, upon the release of the app, posted on her LinkedIn, “Stoked to finally launch BeReal, the first uncontrollable photo sharing app. After being tired and annoyed with all the bullshit on social media, I decided to launch my own. No like, no followers, no ads, no filters, just what my friends are doing, in the most authentic way possible.”

Not only has Barreyat, a former GoPro employee from France, more than succeeded her goals with the app, but has created an ability to remind millions across the globe to take pictures of a fast-paced everyday life.

Zach Pincus, a junior from Rowley, Mass., said people have caught some unexpected incidents on the app.

“Since the app randomizes the time of day you can take your BeReal, people have caught some crazy moments,” Zach said. “The craziest thing I’ve seen is a guy jumping off of a bridge into a lake somewhere in Maine.”

Pippa Berry, a senior from Longmeadow, Mass., said that even faculty have been featured on the app.

“I’ve seen features from Dr. Schmidt and Mr. Hillman,” Pippa said. “Its hilarious.”

Not only has the app captured some epic moments, but it has created a controversy over whether or not it’s living up to its name.

Luke Richardson, a junior from Granby Mass., did not think BeReal has made much of an impact on the stigma of social media use.

“People are still using platforms like Instagram that allow editing and filters, plus on BeReal you can always post late and do re-takes,” Luke said.

According to a recent study, BeReal has 21.6 million monthly users, whereas Instagram has 1.44 billion, leaving people across the globe to wonder if the app will ever out popularize other more mainstream platforms.

Eddie Howell, a junior and frequent user of the app, argued that BeReal has made a change in social media for the better.

“I’ve found that people have stopped editing pictures of themselves on other platforms since BeReal has become popular,” Eddie said. “A lot less filters, a lot less Photoshop, it seems like people are much more confident in themselves.”

Since its release, BeReal has gained traction on other platforms such as Tiktok, on which it has more than 783,000 followers. The benefits from Tiktok’s creator fund have started to make BeReal some money, allowing users to question if BeReal will make changes to the app in order to gain more money from users.