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Image / Living / Culture

There’s a new app on the social media scene that’s eliminated likes, followers and filters — but is it here to stay?


By Sarah Gill
04th May 2022

Unsplash

There’s a new app on the social media scene that’s eliminated likes, followers and filters — but is it here to stay?

Marketing itself as an anti-Instagram, BeReal is an app that’s all about authenticity.

Are anyone else’s thumbs growing tired of the infinite scroll? The constant rotation from app to app can be equal parts mind numbing and anxiety inducing, but are we ready to add something a little different to the mix?

A photo sharing platform that’s all about spontaneity, BeReal endeavours to take things from highly curated to effortlessly casual. Giving people a space to share snippets of their real life — ‘a life without filters’ — the app sends users a notification at a different time each day, prompting them to take a snap of whatever they’re up to at the given time.

There’s a two minute window for users to grab a snapshot of their day and upload it to be shared with friends. While there are no like buttons, there are personalised selfie versions of emojis they’re calling ‘RealMojis’ for users to react with. A clear departure from the well thought out façade social media usually encourages, BeReal have plainly said that this app “won’t make you famous, if you want to become an influencer you can stay on TikTok and Instagram.”

Founded in 2020, the BeReal app currently ranks tenth on the social networking app charts, boasting over 400,000 daily users. It’s got a 4.9/5 rating on the app store and looks to be only growing in popularity, but can it withstand the test of time?

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We’ve been slowly but surely distancing ourselves from the highly stylised Instagram grids that portray the very best versions of ourselves for a while now, opting instead to post more impromptu, of-the-moment snapshots. The photo dump trend allows for a reversion to sharing our authentic selves online, but at the end of the day, our relationship with social media has already been defined.

In a time where online addictions and digital detoxes are all too common, our obsession with aesthetic perfection and sharing the highs instead of the lows won’t be lost overnight. While the app’s ethos is admirable and presents a step in the right direction, the antidote to social media is not another form of social media.

So, will the app be a flash in the pan fad, or will it allow a younger generation to become accustomed to the online world in a whole new way? For those who are only just dipping their toes into the app store, perhaps BeReal can allow them to develop a perception of social media that hasn’t been warped by the Facebook – Twitter – Instagram rotation.