The app that wants you to expose yourself naturally, just as you are: what is BeReal, the filter-free platform

A social network called BeReal promises to show you the real you. It launched two years ago and combines nostalgia for the social apps that came before with an anxiety about the world these apps create.

While it’s impossible to say how big it might grow – or how long it will last – for now, BeReal is generating excitement among TikTokers and Generation Z.

How BeReal works

Founded in January 2020 by French developer Alexis Barreyat, BeReal is a photo sharing app for iOS and Android. Every day, at a random time that varies by country, the app sends a push notification – Time to BeReal! – and users have two minutes to take photos of what they’re doing at that moment. If you post after the two minutes are up, your photos are marked as “late”. You also can’t see your friends’ posts unless you post first.

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BeReal is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the last year. As of April 2022, the app announced it had 2.93 million daily active users, up nearly 29,200% from the previous year.

The goal of the BeReal app was to move away from the perfectly edited photos on Instagram and offer a look at reality through a different lens. In short, be natural, without filters. BeReal wants to show real people as they are and what they actually do.

The basic idea is to upload your “story”, something you do that you would like to share with the online world. No filters, no editing.

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The social media platform describes itself as an “authentic, spontaneous and honest” social media platform. And the app isn’t afraid to call out its competitors and reject the performative culture on the iTunes App Store: “BeReal won’t make you famous, if you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram.”

The app can be downloaded for Android from Google Play and for iOS from the Apple Store.

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