top of page

Being real on BeReal: Analyzing authenticity on social media

By Tammy Newman Nov. 17, 2022

Dana Lim Art

Surpassing Tiktok, Instagram and Google Maps, social media app BeReal has skyrocketed to the top of the charts on Apple’s App Store. The app was launched in 2020 by French entrepreneur and former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat and experienced a surge in popularity in early 2022; as per The Washington Post, it has accumulated over 56 million downloads as of mid-September.

To expand its user base, BeReal hosted numerous college parties through its ambassador program. The Harvard Crimson states that in February, BeReal sponsored a party in Harvard Square’s Tasty Burger Basement and offered free entrance to students who downloaded the app and added five friends. Furthermore, Business Insider reports that Simran Athavale, a BeReal ambassador and freshman at the University of Texas in Austin, handed out energy drinks and slices of pizza to each student who downloaded the app. From college campuses, the app’s popularity quickly spread by word of mouth.

“I downloaded BeReal because all of my friends were using it, and I thought the concept of posting exactly what you are doing at the moment is creative,” Junior Ryan Azuma said.

BeReal stands out from other apps due to its unique posting schedule. At a random time each day, it sends out a notification informing users it is time to “BeReal,” prompting them to post a picture of what they are currently doing within two minutes. The app utilizes both the phone’s front and rear camera simultaneously, overlaying two shots to form a single image.

Due to BeReal’s resounding success, other media companies are beginning to copy its mechanisms. For example, TikTok recently added a new feature called “TikTok Now” that gives users a daily prompt with the slogan “Time to Now” to record a ten-second video or a photo with the front and back cameras. Additionally, The Washington Post states that Instagram is testing a prototype for “Candid Challenges,” a feature reported to be almost identical to BeReal.

Dana Lim Art

BeReal encourages its users to take unfiltered, spontaneous photos and advertises itself as being a genuine social media platform. There is no way to boost a post’s popularity on BeReal; unlike Instagram and TikTok, the app does not have a like count, followers or filters. According to Time magazine, one can also upload their image after the two minute time slot, but the app will mark it as late—which is frowned upon by most users. Critics argue that BeReal generates a sense of false authenticity as users can choose to ignore the notification and compose their shots by choosing what appears in the photo.

Azuma stated that despite downloading the app, he rarely posts when he gets the notification. Rather, he waits until he is doing something fun that he thinks would be interesting to share.

“BeReal’s principle of sending a snapshot of your daily life does promote authenticity to some extent, but the app has its limitations; it allows BeReals to be posted late, which many users do—unless you are like me and live by the BeReal notification. Still, it is more genuine than social media platforms like Instagram, where most people only post the highlights of their life. It is not possible to be truly authentic on social media as we cannot record every moment of our lives, but BeReal is a more real social media platform compared to other popular sites,” Senior Daniel Xie said.


About the Contributors

Tammy Newman

Staff Writer

Tammy Newman is a senior at Leland who writes for the school newspaper. During her free time, she loves spending time with her friends and sleeping.

Dana Lim


Dana Lim is a sopohmore at Leland High School and a artist for The Charger Account. During her free time she likes to binge watch tv shows or take naps.

44 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Screen Shot 2024-02-24 at 7.54.40 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-02-24 at 7.55.49 PM.png


Have any questions? Want to make any suggestions? Contact us at 

We'll reply as soon as we can!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Notice any mistakes?

Contact us here!

Recent Articles

Screen Shot 2024-02-24 at 7.55.11 PM.png
bottom of page