While Instagram is floundering amidst growing fury at its video-centric algorithm, another photo sharing app appears to be flourishing. Supposedly a more authentic social media experience, BeReal is currently something of a darling among Gen Z. And in perhaps the biggest sign that it's breaking into the mainstream, the memes have already begun.
Pitched as the "Anti-Instagram," French app BeReal prompts users to post two photos within a two-minute window – one taken with the rear camera and one with the front. The idea is that it captures people's real lives rather than a polished version. If it's time to delete Instagram, is BeReal the best alternative?
BeReal's app store description is a little, shall we say, holier-than-thou. "BeReal is life, real life, and this life is without filters. BeReal is your chance to show your friends who you really are, for once. BeReal won't make you famous. If you want to become an influencer you can stay on TikTok and Instagram."
So, there are plenty of photos doing the rounds of people eating food, watching Stranger Things, brushing their teeth and just, you know, being real, man. But the simplicity of the format (photo of the scene in front of someone + small selfie in the corner + 'it’s time to BeReal' notification caption) is so easily replicated that it's just crying out for the meme treatment. When the official Teletubbies Twitter account spoofs your platform, it's probably going somewhere.
⚠️Time to BeReal.⚠️ pic.twitter.com/Ittx779NNyJuly 21, 2022
it’s time to ⚠️BeReal⚠️ pic.twitter.com/rpC4BAUMZjJuly 18, 2022
"yeah download bereal its fun to see what people are up to!"the things people are up to: pic.twitter.com/uDGr703gzJJuly 15, 2022
90% of BeReal posts on Mondays pic.twitter.com/6pqqWpciKyJuly 25, 2022
Indeed, even BeReal itself has taken to Twitter (opens in new tab) to complain (read: humble brag) that the amount of BeReal memes is crashing its servers, presumably due to increased awareness and usage.
Whether or not BeReal will become a permanent fixture of the social media leaderboards remains to be seen (remember when everybody was on 'Houseparty' for the first two minutes of the pandemic?) – but while the authenticity of the authenticity angle is up for debate, at least the platform is offering an alternative philosophy to the likes of Instagram and TikTok. Not that the latter is going anywhere – for the uninitiated there's still time to learn how to edit a video on TikTok.