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The social media app gives users two minutes to take a photo at a random time of day

A collection of Coke cans on a sticky table, or a rather dull snap of a half-empty tube car on your commute aren’t the kind of material you’d dream of uploading to a shiny, curated Instagram feed.

But an increasingly popular social media app, BeReal, encourages users to provide a real account of their daily lives by sending them a notification to post a photo of everything they do at a random time of day. .

Founded in France in 2020, BeReal has grown quietly and now has more downloads on the AppStore than on Facebook, despite having no filters, ads or similar buttons.

BeReal sends all users a simultaneous notification, which can happen at any time of the day, letting them know they have two minutes to take an unfiltered photo using both their phone’s front and back cameras.

Although you can take the photo after the allotted time, other users will be notified that there has been a delay in producing the image and therefore it may not be a precise snapshot of your life.

Users are encouraged to add people they know rather than build a large audience of strangers. All images disappear the next time the app notifies users to post.

The new BeReal social media app sends all users a simultaneous notification at any time of the day letting them know they have two minutes to take a photo using both their phone’s front and back camera. A user, based in France, shared a selfie of his cat with the rear camera under the table

A BeReal user shared a photo of them enjoying a night out in Thailand

A UK user was stuck in the tube in London when the notification happened

A BeReal user shared a photo of themselves enjoying a night out in Thailand (left) while another was stuck on the London Underground (right) when the notification occurred

Founded by French entrepreneurs Kévin Perreau and Alexis Barreyat, the was designed to create a “new and unique way to find out who your friends really are in their daily lives”.

Last year, Perreau and Barreyat reportedly raised more than $36 million from US venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners and DST Global.

BeReal is currently the second most downloaded social media app on the App Store ahead of Facebook. However, Instagram and TikTok are listed as Photography, Video, and Entertainment respectively.

According to analytics data firm Sensor Tower, the startup had nearly four million downloads worldwide on the App Store and Google Play between January 2021 and February 2022.

A Germany-based user shared a photo of herself working out at the gym when the notification popped up on the app

A Germany-based user shared a photo of herself working out at the gym when the notification popped up on the app

The platform, which first gained popularity in France, is now believed to have around 300,000 monthly active users worldwide.

BeReal is available on the App Store, where it warns the platform “could get on your nerves” and “won’t make you famous” – adding “if you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram”.

Photos are private by default and visible only to approved friends, but it is possible to publicly share photos in the “discovery timeline” if they choose to do so.

It doesn’t appear that celebrities have discovered the app yet, and users are only allowed to view other people’s content if they’ve shared their own post, even if that post is private.

Users can delete their photo of the day and replace it with another, but users are not encouraged to do so by the app.

The app sends users a simultaneous notification at any time of the day and the photo uses both the front and back camera of their phone.

A BeReal user in Slovakia shared a photo studying

The app sends users a simultaneous notification at any time of the day and the photo uses both the front and back camera of their phone. A BeReal user in Slovakia shared a photo studying

According to tech publication Protocol, Barreyat started BeReal after becoming disillusioned with social media after hanging out with influencers while working as a video producer.

“Every time he opened Instagram, it was filled with ads and influencers and everyone’s perfect life,” a spokesperson told the website: “His life wasn’t as perfect as he was. they always showed it.”

After launching the app two years ago, he wrote on LinkedIn: “Stoked to finally launch BeReal, the first out of control photo sharing app.”

“After being tired and bored with all the bullshit on social media, I decided to start my own. No likes, no followers, no ads, no filters, just what my friends are doing, the most authentic way possible.

BeReal has taken university campuses across the UK and US by storm and many have taken to Twitter to praise the app, writing: “BeReal is an elite form of social media “.

The app, which launched in 2020, has no filters, ads or similar buttons and users are encouraged to add people they know rather than building up a large audience of strangers.

Although you can take the photo after the time runs out, users will be notified that your post was taken late and the image will disappear the next time the app notifies users to post

The app, which launched in 2020, has no filters, ads or similar buttons and users are encouraged to add people they know rather than building up a large audience of strangers.

‘The happiness that BeReal brings me 5 minutes a day is immense. Love seeing what the besties are up to,” another said.

A third wrote: ‘I live for the two minutes a day I use BeReal’. literally my two favorite minutes of the day”.

“I love BeReal because I’m so nosy and like to know what random people are doing at random times of the day,” said another user.

The app currently has a five-star rating, with several positive reviews from users saying that BeReal is a refreshing change from other platforms where users are encouraged to submit modified versions of their lives.

One user described how, although it was ‘awkward’ at first to share a photo of themselves ‘in their pajamas with crazy hair’, they quickly discovered that their friends’ lives were very different to what they were. they had seen on other social media apps.

BeReal has taken university campuses across the UK and US by storm and many have taken to Twitter to praise the app, writing: BeReal is an elite form of social media.

BeReal has taken university campuses across the UK and US by storm and many have taken to Twitter to praise the app, writing: BeReal is an elite form of social media.

“You can’t post something planned, it’s random and it’s real,” the user wrote. “It gives you a real insight into people’s lives. It is definitely worth trying.

Another user described the app as a great way to keep in touch with distant friends or family, writing, “Every day I get a glimpse into their lives and it’s so nice.

“Highly recommend it and think the memory feature is particularly nice, like a little scrapbook of your daily life to look back on.”

Another rave review read, “This is a fantastic take on a new social media app. Works great with a great concept behind it.

“I truly believe this app will be the future of social media because it is sustainable and realistic social media that offers something no other app does.”