From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Original author(s)Alexis Barreyat, Kévin Perreau[1][2]
Initial release2020
Stable release(s)
iOS1.8.1 / July 26, 2023; 10 months ago (2023-07-26)
Android1.7.0 / July 22, 2023; 10 months ago (2023-07-22)
Written inSwift (iOS), Kotlin (Android)[3]
PlatformiOS 14 or later
Available in13 languages[5]
List of languages
English, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Turkish

BeReal (stylized as BeReal.) is a French messaging app released in 2020,[6] developed by Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau. Its main feature is a daily notification that encourages users to share photos with friends of themselves and their day to day life given a randomly selected two-minute window every day. Critics noted its emphasis on authenticity, which some felt crossed the line into the mundane.[7] The name "BeReal" is a pun. Its primary reference relates to its focus on users uploading unpolished photos, while also being a pun of the term b-reel.[6]

According to the app's description on Apple's App Store, BeReal encourages its users to "show their friends who they really are, for once," by removing filters and opportunities to stage or edit photos.[8]

After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it rapidly gained popularity in early and mid-2022, before experiencing a decrease in use in 2023.[citation needed]


The app was developed by Alexis Barreyat, a former employee of GoPro in Munich, Germany, and Kévin Perreau, a graduate from 42 in Paris.[1][2][7] Initially released in 2020, it first gained widespread popularity in early 2022.[7][9] It first spread widely on college campuses, partially due to a paid ambassador program.[10][11] In late August 2022, the application had over 10 million active daily users and 21.6 million active monthly users.[12][13] As of February 2023, the app has grown to 13 million active daily users and 47.8 million active monthly users.[14]

In June 2021, BeReal received a $30 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Accel.[10][15] In May 2022, BeReal secured $85 million in a funding round led by Yuri Milner's DST Global, increasing its valuation to about $600 million.[15][16]

On July 25, 2022, BeReal topped Apple's free app list in the iOS App Store, and remained until September 2022.[17] BeReal also received Apple's iPhone App of the Year in 2022.[18]

By late spring 2023, the app's momentum was waning, as daily users dropped to about 6 million, from 15 million in October 2022.[19]


Once per day, BeReal simultaneously notifies all users that a two-minute window to post is open. It asks users to create a post (known eponymously as a "BeReal"[20]) which, using mandatory simultaneous photos and now short videos from both the front and back cameras, provides a visual depiction of what they are doing at that moment, with an option to caption their post. The given window varies from day to day, and is not known to users before the notification is received.[21]

Once the daily notification is sent, users lose the ability to see others' BeReals from the previous day. Furthermore, users cannot see any of the current day's BeReals until they upload their own. While on-time BeReals show the time it was uploaded, late BeReals uploaded after the two-minute window only show how late the poster is. Other users can also see how many attempts the poster took to take the BeReal, as well as their location when the BeReal was taken. Users only get one chance to delete their BeReal and post another one, and they used to not be able to post more than one at any time.[22] However, in 2023, a feature was added that allowed users to post up to two extra BeReals on days when they posted their first BeReal within the 2-minute window. For now, this BonusBeReal feature is only available in some regions.[1] BeReal also features a "Discovery" section,[23] wherein users are given the option to share to a much wider, public audience. This feature, however, is limited, as users are not able to interact with the posts through commenting—unlike the "My Friends" feature.

The app does not have an explicit image moderation process, and thus does not restrict the users from posting inappropriate photos.[24] However, there is a report function that allows users to report a photo or another user if they are posting inappropriate content.[25]

Comparison to other platforms[edit]

Because of its daily cycle of engagement, it has been compared to Wordle, which gained popularity earlier in 2022.[26] It also supports a platform similar to Snapchat with a theme of impermanence and brevity.

BeReal has been described as designed to compete with Instagram while simultaneously de-emphasising social media addiction and overuse.[7][27] The app does not allow any photo filters or other editing, and has no advertising or follower counts. Marketing material from the company warned that the app "can be addictive" but also stated that "BeReal won't make you famous."[16] Jacob Arnott, managing director of social agency We the People, describes BeReal as "an anti-Instagram" due to its raw and unedited nature.[28]

The app's foundation on friends rather than followers resembles Facebook's platform of adding friends, which comprise the content of a user's feed. This also resembles Instagram's 'close friends' story feature.[29] Further, rather than 'liking' posts, BeReal uses 'RealMojis' which involves taking a photo to interact with other posts.[29]

With the popularity of BeReal, other providers have launched similar features. In July 2022 Instagram launched a "Dual Camera" feature similar to BeReal, and in August 2022 began testing a similar feature called "IG Candid Challenges" where users are prompted to post once a day within two minutes. As of September 2022, TikTok has also launched a feature called TikTok Now, following the same concept.[30]

In December 2022, similar to Spotify's "Wrapped," BeReal launched a feature involving a video of a compilation of users' BeReal posts of 2022.[31]

The app also is not monetized through advertising, unlike many other social media platforms, leading to inquiry on how the app will be funded. There is speculation on the app eventually requiring subscription, but the history of that path has not been particularly successful with other apps, such as "Blue", Twitter's offering towards a subscription product.[32]

User characteristics[edit]

BeReal is considered to be targeted towards Generation Z users, and attempts to minimize "social media fatigue", a feeling of numbness and disconnection from reality caused by constant interaction with an idealized version of others.[33][34][35] This is a "core generational value" that this demographic holds compared to Millennials.[36] Further, BeReal's users have been particularly strong across universities and university-aged students, and the majority of users are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.[37][38] In 2022, the majority of users were female, with 43.2% of users falling within the age range of 16 to 25 and 55.1% of users being 26 to 44 years old.[38]


Jason Koebler, a writer for Vice, wrote that in contrast to Instagram, which presents an unattainable view of people's lives, BeReal instead "makes everyone look extremely boring."[39] Niklas Myhr, a professor of social media at Chapman University, argued that depth of engagement may determine whether the app is a passing trend or has "staying power." Kelsey Weekman, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, noted that the app's unwillingness to "glamorise the banality of life" made it feel "humbling" in its emphasis on authenticity.[26] Niloufar Haidari for The Guardian comments similarly that where the app succeeds in being "drab" in perhaps a positive way, it fails in potentially "un-inspiring" users.[40] Likewise, Dr. Brad Ridout, a behavioral psychologist at the University of Sydney, emphasizes that the "boring" experience is what the creators are targeting for the app and, in response to Instagram's platform of flawlessness, that "perfection is the enemy of happiness".[37]


Some people regularly post after the two-minute notification expires, leading to some criticism of the app, as the ability to post late undermines its aims of authenticity.[41] In addition, BeReal's daily two-minute window has been argued to contribute to social media fatigue and a need for self-exposure, as well as constant access to phones.[34][35]

Business use[edit]

As with many other social medias, the popularity of BeReal has led to impacts in the workplace. Because of BeReal's foundation of reaching a few segments without going viral, its role in the workplace differs from that of Instagram or TikTok as companies are less likely to use BeReal successfully as a promotional tool. However, employees' BeReal posts could be beneficial for marketing, and companies can benefit as it appeals to millennials and Generation Z.

BeReal's platform also leads to privacy and confidentiality concerns. Employees may share confidential material or potentially harm their employer's reputation by their posts.[42]

As for partnering with other companies, BeReal posted a message geared towards the press stating that "working with brands is not [their] priority" and that their purpose is to connect users rather than monetize the app.[43]


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