The BeReal Photo-Sharing App is great for boring

If social platforms can be said to have good stars, it is when people are still signing up to see if their friends are there, and figuring out why – the early days when they may be needed but have not yet been described. That is the current emergence of BeReal, a new platform where people post photos to their friends, with a few key challenges.

Once a day, at an uncertain time, BeReal alerts its users that they have two minutes to publish a few pictures, one of each camera phone, taken simultaneously. The only way to see what others have announced that day is to introduce yourself. You can announce after a two-minute window closes, but all your friends will be notified that you are late; You can reschedule your photo shoot, but your friends will know that too. Your friends can respond to your messages with something called “RealMoji” – the essence of the selfie reaction, visible to all your connections. All photos disappear the next day.

Other platforms experiment with manipulative gamification. BeReal is a game. Although its a simple rule – post, now – mixed words. Do not be hard on yourself, just what to preach, he tells, clock ticking. And then in a whisper: But do not be difficult. (BeReal does not respond to emails or Twitter requests for comment.)

As a result, BeReal regularly provides photos in the classroom, at work, while driving or in bed. Many performers have a funny or boring face when doing fun or bored. It’s good! Or at least not depressed, which is very valuable today.

Now, BeReal feels like a working group rather than a social enterprise, a low competition that, despite its direct application, does not ask for more. It’s time to socialize by the day but also by your other snacks, where scrolling and scrolling have become more fun for work or heavier, according to Wall Street. The Journal reported last year in a story about how the Instagram phone has led to youth health. .

One of BeReal’s developers is a former GoPro employee, and he markets his experience as a return to rawness and authenticity, but, at least for these users, it has can feel more gauzy and nostalgic, like a child of the experience of engaging with one of these important relationships when they all still feel like toys. See, there are my friends, this is fun, we are doing this special together. What went wrong?

BeReal, which is based in Paris, was launched in 2020, and by April of this year, it has been set up approximately 7.41 million times, according to Apptopia, a pharmaceutical company. evaluate. The app was paid for a few months ago in a student newsletter, which documented its efforts to pay for school ambassadors; In March, Bloomberg announced that the app was “a favorite in college.”

The company raised about $ 30 million in financial investment last year, according to Pitchbook, and a recent report by Insider said more funding should be needed.

Buzzy new apps pop up all the time. Part of the appeal of using them is not knowing where to stick. The chance that an app will become something important makes it attractive; novelty and unpredictability out of the notion, Oh no, here we go again. The greater the chances that the platform provides will be cracked or pivot out of life allowing you to not worry too much about what you do there and where it can be done. It is the best of all the worlds, and it does not last long.

My challenge is to remember to sign up for services that will end up making heavy historical changes for the desktop computer; I am, for the sake of this discussion, old. But when it comes to social networks, nostalgia beats fast and young.

Brenden Koo, a Stanford college graduate, said: “Posting on Instagram today, there is a process like this,” his parents followed him on Snapchat, which he said “to the end . ” He joined BeReal in December after hearing about it from a friend. He appreciated the fact that it was temporary, effortless and “conditional.” It rarely exchanges anything other than the mainstream media.

Mr. Koo, 21, said “Even college students find it a little kitschy,” Mr.

Her classmate Oriana Riley, 19, agrees that the app asks her less than others. “I think once a day Bebeal makes it feel healthier than any other social media platform,” Ms. Riley said. “It feels less understood than any other community media.”

BeReal is absolutely not an anti-social media – it is an industry-leading video sharing app that is trying to get a significant amount of users in one way or another. know big. Most apps expect users to generate revenue ultimately, through advertising, marketing and other partnerships.

BeReal is currently ad-free, and its language prohibits users from publishing themselves. But it’s just the beginning, and one that has raised money from some of the same companies that have invested more than a decade ago on Facebook and Instagram – another app that has gone into astonishment. , only provides users with images like filter images. of taking them.

What BeReal offers now is a new piece of experience that has been tainted or worn out elsewhere. But most social apps want to be the next big thing, not a gift for the end. A beautiful new app by Ms. Riley explains that helping him seem “close to his friends” is his next’s promising prospect for a big payday.

If Instagram or Snapchat alert all of their daily users that they have two minutes to post, it will understand that spam is very important; If TikTok asked its users to share the video before seeing any other announcement that day, as BeReal did, it would not feel like a way to promote trust or socialization, though. but like a violation of hacking development. Randomly check-ins are fun among friends; on scale, they’re evaluated.

That is not to say that the larger platform will not follow or try to buy BeReal if it continues to grow: Snapchat, Instagram and now Twitter have encouraged users to post low self-esteem with features like Community Friends and Twitter Circle. They want good stars, too.

BeReal is blunt but makes good sense: If you spend enough time in a place that wants you to expand, you will eventually get bored. Expect to see negative announcements from your friends making users generous with each other, and with themselves. Pictures of switches, walkways, animals and children, on tables and walls and various screens, all with ugly faces, may not feel new or stable. But now, for some, they feel like relief.


For Content is a column that explores the edges of digital culture.

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