The BeReal app took the internet by storm in early 2022. But what is it, how does it work, can you get famous with it, and can you delete BeReal content? Check out the below for all the details.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a social media platform that’s slightly different from what you’re used to. Every day, the app prompts users to post an unfiltered photo of what they’re doing. The image will be sent to the user’s friends – or publicly, but more on that later! – which they can view once they post their own BeReal. That’s it.
What is the point of Bereal?
BeReal encourages people to, well, be real. There are no filters. No edit buttons. No monetization. This isn’t an app people use to get famous, reinforced by the fact that there are no ads or follower counts on the platform. BeReal gives viewers a slice of life; it’s unfiltered and spur-of-the-moment, giving users a genuine insight into someone else’s day.
How do you use Bereal?
So, how does BeReal work? It’s super easy. So easy, we’re kicking ourselves for not having the idea first.
- Download the BeReal app from the Apple Store or Play Store. Open the app and sign up for an account with your name, date of birth, and phone number. You’ll be sent a security code that’ll verify your identity. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and choose a username.
- You can add friends from your contacts. This can always be done later, but you’d may as well do it when you set up your account. You can also invite friends if they're not already using BeReal.
- Wait for the ‘It’s time to BeReal’ message. You’ll receive this notification at a random time every day, meaning there’s no time to sneakily plan your photo. Once this message comes through, you have two minutes to post.
- Take your photo and post it. Once you’ve taken your photo, you can see your friends’ BeReals from the same day and comment or react with emojis. You can even reply with a RealMoji, which basically turns you into a react icon.
- Add a caption. You can caption your photo once it’s gone live.
Does Bereal take both photos at the same time?
Yep. When you take a photo in BeReal, it snaps a picture with both the front and back camera, giving your friends a selfie and a view of what you’re doing. These are taken within a few seconds of each other, so you don’t really have time to move anywhere else. For this reason, consider others around you before posting – perhaps the middle of the locker room isn’t the best place to post.
How long before BeReals disappear?
Like the story-style functions in most other social media platforms, posts are only live for 24 hours. However, you – and only you – can access your old posts in the ‘Memories’ section of the BeReal app.
How to delete a BeReal
If you’re not happy with the photos you’ve taken for your daily post, you can reshoot them within the two-minute window. Your friends can see how many times you tried to take your picture. This is because the BeReal app wants users to embrace the spirit of spontaneously posting – retaking photos makes it a bit more like other social media platforms.
If you’ve posted a BeReal and regret it, you can delete it. This can only be done once per day, for the same reasons as above. Just hit the three-dot icon next to your BeReal’s timestamp and click ‘Delete my BeReal.’
When you try to delete a post, the BeReal app will ask why you want to get rid of it: ‘Inappropriate content,’ ‘I don’t like my BeReel,’ ‘There was a bug during capture.’ Things like that.
Once you’ve deleted your post, you can give it another go. Just bear in mind that if you delete a BeReal, it disappears from the Memories section.
What happens if you miss a BeReal?
Missing a BeReal isn’t the end of the world. There are no real consequences. If you post late, your friends can see that you posted later than the two-minute window. If you don’t post at all, you can’t see other people’s BeReals from the day. And that’s fine. You could have been swimming, or at the movies, or in the bathroom, or at a wedding. Not everybody is glued to their phone 24/7, and the BeReal app is designed with that in mind – you won’t miss out on much if you don’t post!
Can anyone see my BeReal?
Yes and no. By design, the BeReal app isn’t for mass consumption – it’s a space for friends to share candid little moments. This means that initially, only the people you’re connected with can see and interact with your BeReal. You can spread your realness a little wider and go public, though. Here’s how.
- Share your BeReal on other social media platforms. Once you’ve snapped your BeReal, you’ll be given the option to save and share it. You can send your snap to friends via text or iMessage, but you can share that puppy directly to other social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
- Switch to ‘Discovery’ mode. Once you capture your BeReal, hold off on publishing. If you’re using an iPhone, hit the ‘My Friends Only’ button, switch it to ‘Discovery,’ then send it. On an Android device, click ‘Send’ and select ‘Everyone (Discovery)’ under the ‘Send to…’ header. Doing this makes your post public on the BeReal Discovery page.
Is there anything else like BeReal?
The Bereal app became popular because it seemed unique, but other social media platforms have taken notes. In August 2022, Instagram revealed it was working on a prototype called the Instagram Candid Challenge. It works in the same way as BeReal, right down to the two-minute warning. Snapchat also rolled out a dual camera setting, which lets users do ‘the BeReal thing’ in Snaps, Stories and Spotlight videos.
One month later, TikTok announced TikTok Now: a feature that prompts you, once a day, to post a photo or ten-second video that’s captured with both cameras. And, just like BeReal, TikTok Now content is only available to your mutual followers, unless you change the settings.
Can you post videos on BeReal?
At the moment, it’s not possible to post videos on the BeReal app. It’s just photos, captions and comments – this could all change going forward, given the pace and competition of social media. We’ll have to wait and see.
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