Across the University of Georgia campus, many students are getting notifications saying they have two minutes to post a picture using both their phone’s front and back camera from a new social media app, BeReal.
The app has positioned itself as a place “discover who your friends really are in their daily life,” according to its website. It tells users when to post is designed to help decrease the stress of curating the perfect post. Senior psychology and communication studies major Skylar Barth believes this is one of the best features of BeReal.
“I live with six girls and we’re all on it now so whenever the notification pops up, we all get excited,” Barth said. “So, I think it makes us more excited than Instagram. It’s really fun that you can see what people are doing there every day.”
BeReal has been described as a unique social media platform as many users will not follow people they don’t directly know. Avery Carson, a content specialist at Athens social media marketing firm See.Spark.Go, believes this is largely how BeReal has gained popularity.
“It’s a cool place to be with your friends and to send updates to your friends and things like that. But it’s not necessarily a social platform where I feel like people are going to be following brands or interacting with anyone outside of their immediate circle, which is why I feel like that’s really similar to Snapchat,” Carson said.
The app markets itself for users to be their authentic selves, so it has omitted filters, follower counts and likes. Barth thinks this makes BeReal a healthier form of social media.
“I think it’s healthier that you can’t see how many followers you have — how many friends you have. My friend was like, ‘Oh, I’m only adding five people so it’s a small knit thing,’” Barth said. “There are no filters and I don’t think people are valuing comments and there’s no likes. It’s definitely healthier.”
Since users can only post once a day, some students use BeReal less often than other social media. Sophomore exercise and sports science major Jaime Richtman has found that she spends a lot less time on it compared to other apps.
“I definitely use it less than other social media. I basically only check it when I get notifications, or when other people have posted things late,” Richtman said.
However, a major question about BeReal is its lasting potential. Some students like Barth and Richtman believe it may just be a fad. Carson feels the app’s lack of brand interaction will lead to its demise.
“I think that’s a big reason why platforms like Facebook and Instagram will be around for a really long time is because there’s a space for you to interact on the personal level but then there’s also opportunity to interact with brands and profiles outside of people who you might actually know in real life,” Carson said. “I think [BeReal] will be sort of a trend and a fad, and it’s something that’s fun for now, but I think people will fall off of it at some point and sort of forget about it.”