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Will BeReal App Continue Being Relevant in 2023?

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03 May 2023
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Will BeReal App Continue Being Relevant in 2023?

At the start of 2022, if you received a ⚠️ notification, it likely indicated an emergency alert. However, now it has a completely different meaning in the public consciousness: you have two minutes to capture a photo. 

BeReal, a photo-sharing app that provides a brief window to take photos from both front and back cameras, captivated social media users who are steering away from Instagram and TikTok in 2022 due to its simplicity and focus on authenticity. Despite surpassing 53 million downloads, becoming Apple's top iPhone app of the year, and being cloned by competitors, it has not undergone any significant updates, which is refreshing in an era when social media platforms strive to cater to all users.

Similar to Wordle, BeReal sparked a trend that everyone jumped on board with. The extent of the app's popularity can be seen by glancing at social media when its daily notification unexpectedly appears. As the novelty fades, however, will BeReal persist in the new year?

Although poeple enjoyed seeing the routine aspects of their friends' days, some stopped using the app towards the end of the year due to the overwhelming number of daily notifications. Not only does it remind you when it's time to post, but it also notifies you whenever one of your friends posts late, bombarding you with notifications throughout the day. I believed that most of the people would also shift away from the platform, but people continue to return every day for various reasons despite its simplicity.

While the app's primary goal is for users to post within the two-minute time frame, you can still post later in the day, although you won't be able to see other people's photos until you post. When BeReal gained popularity among Gen Z and millennial users over the summer, I noticed a change in how people were using it. As more people joined the platform and BeReal circles expanded, some users began capturing their BeReals during the highlights of their day, rather than limiting themselves to the selected posting time. This shift altered the app's "spontaneous" appeal and sparked speculation that, instead of being a place to be authentic, BeReal was becoming like every other platform that preceded it: a place to present the best version of yourself – removing the authenticity.

Used in this way, BeReals, like the 0.5 selfie, became material for photo dumps on Instagram and TikTok. BeReals evolved into a new form of selfie, with people competing to capture memorable BeReals at concerts and with celebrities. It became a new way to go viral on other, more monetizable platforms. 
The primary reason to use BeReal is to see what your friends are doing throughout the day and be part of the app's community. However, one of the app's key features that users continue to revisit is "Memories." Like Snapchat, BeReal saves your previous posts to Memories, allowing you to scroll back and see what you were doing each day that you posted. If you choose, as many do, to use the app solely for Memories, you can present your posts to what you want to remember about each day and collect all those moments in one place. This usage of BeReal is similar to the app 1 Second Everyday.

Memories serve as a fascinating way to look back on your years and reflect on all the small moments you might have forgotten, especially when your camera roll is typically cluttered with things like homework assignments, screenshots you sent a friend, and random photographs.

As a result, while BeReal's initial appeal may be diminishing, it is developing into something else entirely: a new kind of journaling in the modern age. 


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