Perfect pictures have become so predictable on Instagram.
“You get that feeling of ‘my life isn’t nearly as cool as this person’s,'” said Jason Howell, host at the online tech network TWiT. “There’s this comparison that I think a lot of people place upon themselves based on the contents of the feed that they’re looking at.”
He’s been testing out a new social media app called BeReal, which challenges users to be more authentic.
The app is quickly gaining in popularity and describes itself as authentic spontaneous and candid.
You still post pictures, and you still have followers (that you must approve), but there’s a twist: you only post once a day when you get a notification at a random time.
“You never know when you’re going to get that message from BeReal and that’s the fun of it,” said Howell.
The app gives you two minutes to post, and in my own testing, I was surprised to realize it captures both the front and back cameras at the same time.
“It’s really meant to be, share who you are, in this moment and that’s ok, it kind of removes the stigma of not being perfect,” said Howell.
You can do retakes, but there’s no pulling a previous pic from your camera roll, no filters and no edits. You can caption your photos and comment.
Posting your picture is the only way to see your friends’ pictures and, if you post late, your photo is marked so your friends know.
“It allows me to be ok with be OK with sharing the mundane of my life because that’s kind of the point,” said Howell.
BeReal’s feed isn’t as exciting as Instagram or TikTok’s. The pictures aren’t necessarily inspiring or idealized versions of life – they’re just moments you might have every day. Checking email on a computer, hanging with friends or drinking a coffee.
Still, it does feel like a more personal glimpse into someone’s real life, and that’s the point.
“I get a better understanding of a better sense of who that person is and what their life is actually like and that makes me feel more of a connection to them as a person,” concluded Howell.
One big problem, at least right now, is that your friends probably aren’t on the app just yet, which makes the feed even less compelling. Out of my entire address book, only a handful of people were on there.
Also, BeReal skews much younger right now. Of course, as more people join the platform this could all change.