New York University students are ambivalent about whether the BeReal app provides its users with truly authentic social media.
Like many New York University students, I prefer casual photography to edited selfies – an advantage that goes to extremes in the BeReal social networking app: every day you are given a two-minute window to post pictures from the front of your phone and back.
The experience may make your heart beat, but does it really create a true, real image of yourself? As some college students are looking for healthier forms of social media, some from New York University told WSN about their thoughts on BeReal’s approach to social media.
Launched in 2020, BeReal advertises itself as a new platform for casual and unfiltered social media. For the company growing its presence on campus in many universities its online presence is quite limited.
“Without filters. No likes. No followers. No bullshit. No advertising, ”in the only advertising video Instagram states.
The app works as a combination of Snapchat and Instagram – users upload one post a day to the feed only for friends, which lasts about 24 hours. After spending nearly a year on BeReal, Tish Jr. Seamus Slatter believes he has captured some of his most genuine moments in the app.
“From one party to a hangover the next morning BeReal sees some of my hottest selfies,” Slattery said. “Usually it’s just me and my bedroom wall.”
Unlike other social networking platforms, BeReal requires real-time interaction. All users receive a notification at the same time – but at different times each day – with a warning that they can capture and upload a BeReal image within two minutes of receiving the message. If you want to see what your friends are up to, you must first post a photo before you can access your feed – and no, it’s not as easy as just taking a selfie.
The app captures images from the front and rear cameras and uploads them together. The process is designed to preserve authenticity, but for some it has become the case.
“It’s like a pony with one trick in that there’s really only one feature, and after a while – if no one in your tape supports her interest, you start to lose interest,” Slattery said. “I think BeReal is destined to fail.”
Grayson Lee Kim, a CAS junior and BeReal College ambassador, believes BeReal can become a new, healthier Instagram through its true experience.
“There are no filters, no materialistic qualities, no BS,” Kim said. “The app presented my true, true self that may seem vulnerable on the social networking platform.”
The application tries to give a temporary social channel without registration – Kim believes that this unique quality is one of its shortcomings.
“While it’s a real and definitely healthier social media platform, I can’t keep up with friends and family just like I did on Instagram,” Kim said.
Sophomore Tisha Jani Bitis downloaded BeReal in early February and, unlike Kim, says he doesn’t like it at all.
“The app itself doesn’t really work that well, and it’s always frustrating, so you don’t get a good user experience from it,” Bitis said.
Referring to the problems with uploading photos and sending RealMojis – a service in the application through which users create emojis from their photos – Bitis is struggling to stay interested in maintaining its presence BeReal. Like Slattery, Bitis doubts the longevity of the app.
“I don’t think it’s thriving,” Bitis said. “I don’t think it will rise.”
With ambiguous experiences at New York University still remains in the air, or overtake BeReal major social networking platforms. While the app maintains sincerity and authenticity, it couldn’t be better than a photo dump.
Contact Derek Sung at [email protected]