New social media app ‘BeReal’ rises in popularity

(Graphic by Sarah Unruh | Collegian Media Group)

Swiping through Instagram, perfect vacations and posed selfies one after the other glow through the screen. Keeping up with friends, family and favorite celebs is fun and entertaining, but the pressure of choosing the right photo to get the likes and comments can be overwhelming.

A new social media app is sweeping in and rapidly picking up popularity. BeReal sends users a notification at a different time every day to upload a photo within two minutes. Whether you’re in class, on a bike ride or waking up from a nap, you and all your friends post what you’re doing at that moment, with pictures taken on both sides of your phone.

“I like the spontaneity of the app,” Zack Ness, junior in mechanical engineering, said. “It is funny to see what other close friends are doing at the same time as well.”

BeReal allows users to let people see a more intimate side of their lives without the filters or pressures of planning what to put on your social carousel.

“Only having a small number of friends that I actually care about makes it more special,” Kristen Hammes, senior in educational studies and pre-occupational therapy, said. “I like how it’s so casual, and there’s no editing or trying to get the ‘perfect’ picture.”

Kate Kennedy, senior in mass communications, also admires its low expectation environment. Making comparisons of oneself against others on social media is sometimes a slippery slope, leading to low self-esteem.

“I do think it’s way less doctored than a lot of Instagram posts,” Kennedy said. “One thing I’ve been trying to be conscious of is not worrying so much about how people view my life and not feeling bad because I see other people and what they’re doing on social media. I like BeReal because I can post really bad pictures of me that are really goofy, and I don’t care about it because I know it’s not going to last. It makes me feel a lot more comfortable posting.”

Social media can turn into a bragging competition when it’s really meant to connect and build relationships. As BeReal grows, students are curious about how the app will shape a new age of social media.

“I am excited to see a new social media rising in popularity so quick,” Ness said. “It is a change of pace for everyone and takes out the fake aspect of other social medias since you aren’t able to edit pictures.”

Gen Z is the primary consumer of BeReal and is gaining a fresh experience of discovering a new app and helping propel it forward.

“So, growing up, I was never super involved in social medias when they were first coming up,” Kennedy said. “I wasn’t really into Vine, I took a while to get an Instagram, so it’s interesting to be on the front end of an app … It’s really interesting to have that perspective.”