Will BeReal Remain Popular?


Image by Mia Giglio

If you’ve noticed the increase in the phrase, “It’s time to be real” and looked around your classroom to see half the class simultaneously taking pictures of themselves, you’ve already seen the effects of BeReal. BeReal is an app made in 2020, but it’s just recently started gaining popularity. It allows users to take two pictures, one with their back camera and one with their front, at a randomized time each day. The purpose of this app is to allow your friends to see exactly what you’re doing at the same time without having the luxury of filters or editing like other social media apps. It makes everyone able to see friends in a more realistic way, which relieves the pressure on users to be seen as perfect… or does it?

Although BeReal sends out a notification to take the picture at a certain time each day, you still have the option of waiting until later to take the picture – the only difference being that it will display that you were late. Many people find themselves wanting to take the picture at a different time than the one given. For example, if I had the option to take the picture at the set time, which was 4:00 pm while I’m lying in bed watching TikToks, or take it five hours later when I’m at a concert with friends, I would obviously choose to do it later – but does this detract from the purpose of the app? If people do choose to ignore the set time, others may feel bad about themselves for not doing something as “exciting” as their friends were. BeReal prides itself on being a laid-back platform where people can see each other doing everyday things, but even BeReal is starting to fall back into the social media mindset of only showing the best parts of yourself.

Disregarding the deeper problems with BeReal, there are also technical problems. Users have reported that the notification sometimes shows up late or doesn’t show up at all, that the photos take a long time to load, that they have to close in and out of the app multiple times, and overall just that the app is buggy. Hopefully, the creators will be able to fix these problems in future updates.

The big question is, will BeReal stay popular? I’ve already heard of multiple people deleting the app because it’s started to feel more like a chore for them at this point, especially since the timing can be inconvenient. Apps have already started to copy the idea – like Tik Tok’s new feature called “Now”, which virtually does the same thing. With the new competition, technical problems, and the questionable genuineness, will BeReal continue to captivate teenagers… or was it just a short-lived trend?