BeReal, the anti-influencer app
Over the last few years, many businesses have entered into partnerships with social media influencers to increase awareness among customers and since then, Influencer marketing has become a $10 billion industry. This has also led to uncertainties about influencer marketing. In certain sectors, the tides seem to be turning against them. This is when BeReal, a new app, appeared and is gaining popularity among users.
A photo-sharing app
BeReal is a French-developed photo-sharing social media platform that aims to stay away from influencer content. The app does not have any filters to use and the description warns the users that it will not make its users famous. The description further adds that users can stay on TikTok or Instagram if they want to be famous. The app was launched in 2020, but its downloads have increased by an astounding 315% since this year’s beginning. It now occupies the 4th rank in the list of popular social media platforms, right after Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
How the app works
The app sends the users push notification at any time of the day and asks them to take photos of whatever they are doing right at that moment. When the user opens the app, it sets off a two-minute timer within which they have to take photos. The photos have to be front-facing and back-facing camera shots. The photos remain only for a day and have the qualities of being unflattering and ephemeral. People can share the routine of their daily lives, such as taking a walk or lying on the couch watching TV.
Many users find this app fascinating because it feels like a return to simpler times. Posting photos does not feel like a performance and it gives off the same feeling as other social media platforms, of being online with friends. The app also allows the users a single attempt to delete photos. The app also has a ‘Discovery’ tab which shows photos of someone going through security at some distant airport or drinking coffee at some exotic location. If a user is late in posting a photo, it will carry a timestamp showing that it has been posted late.
Innovative reactions to posts
On other social media platforms, a person can react to a post by using a ‘heart’ or ‘thumbs up’ button. On this social media platform, a user has to take a selfie of their face inside a circle template on the app. These reactions are called ‘realemojis’. Users cannot use an emoji to react to posts, their facial expression doubles up as emojis. Captions can also be added to photos after they go live.
The app also has a ‘profile’ page, where all photos that have been clicked previously can be seen, These photos are categorized as ‘memories’. The format of the app is unique and even though the app does not provide any filters that may help the photos to look real, there is no pressure to look perfect on the app.
There are no perfect pastel grids available on the app, so it is difficult for users to rise to the status of influencers. This is also a way of pushing back against beauty filters. Users do not feel the pressure that they feel when they try to post photos of their life online. Ali the users receive notifications to post at the same time each day, which makes the experience feel universal.