How real is BeReal?

The social media app BeReal has recently taken off among students at St. Andrew’s. The popular photo sharing app prompts users to post once a day at a random time, giving them two minutes to capture and share two photos: one from the back camera and one from the front. The lack of in-app filters and the spontaneity of being prompted to post at a different time each day leads BeReal to be hailed as, “a refreshing alternative to the big social media platforms,” by The Washington Post

Although these new changes are aimed to create a more authentic social media platform, there are a few problems with BeReal’s goal of curating candid interactions with your friends. For one, you can retake your BeReal at any point during the day. It is not necessary to even post during the two minute window the app urges its users to take their photos within. This begs the question, is BeReal as real as it strives to be? 

Junior Hannah Brahimi believes that closing out the app to restart your timer (a hack many people have discovered) feels, “a little bit inauthentic.”

 Ms. Armacost, an upper school history teacher, agrees with that opinion and wonders, “what is real on the internet?” 

Another inevitable downside to BeReal is the feeling of competition.  Brahimi said that postponing your BeReal until something post-worthy is happening can make, “a lot of people think they have worse lives,” than their friends on the platform. This calculated appearance can be difficult to notice and can negatively impact users of the app. 

According to the Washington Post, BeReal skyrocketed in popularity during the end of last summer in August and was downloaded around 11 million times in that month alone. The popular new app was one of the most downloaded in the month of August on the Apple Appstore. While all of these statistics point to the expected continued growth of BeReal, many are skeptical about whether  BeReal will reach a level of popularity similar to Tik Tok and other social media giants, and if the app will continue to be as popular as it was during the summer of 2022.

Melissa Nugent ’25