BeReal peels back the layers of social media


umi Adeyinka, Isabella Alves, Mya Anderson, Hannah Chafin, Morgan Day, Nicolas Gomez, Claire Murphy, Serenity Norris, Jasper Payne, Addie Quintana, Angelica Ricardo, Claire Scafidi, Arianna Stafford and Symone Thomas.

From all four grade levels, NC students use BeReal to take pictures of their high school experiences. Inclusivity blossoms with BeReal, because students include each other for the subject or photographers of their pictures. “It’s huge at North Cobb! I’ve heard people during class say ‘The Bereal went off!’ or people asking each other to be in each other’s BeReals. The platform is constantly growing amongst teenagers especially,” senior Angelica Ricardo said.

Ciara Whimbush, Reporter

When the self proclaimed “not another social network” BeReal first launched December 2019, the app received a pinch of success. In July of 2021, downloads on the app surged, with numbers rising from 921,000 921,000 to 21.6 million, and the growth did not slow down. Due to the increase in popularity of the app in 2022, BeReal currently sits with 28 million downloads worldwide. While the bulk of the initial downloads came from France, the birthplace of BeReal, almost half of the current downloads come from the United States. Teenagers provide much of the hype for the app, with numerous NC students a part of the fun and craze. 

To start, the BeReal app sends out a notification to post pictures to the app at any given moment in the morning, afternoon or night. Users then take a photo through both cameras, front and back, as opposed to snapping a picture through one cell phone camera. This pops up on added friends’ feeds, to show how and who a person occupies their time with. 

Once BeReal sends a notification, users receive two minutes to take the photo. The 120-second countdown occurs whenever the app opens, whether the app opens on time or not. If the picture posts after the notification, however, everyone on a person’s friends list receives a notification to see the late photo. In order to see other BeReals, users must upload their own pictures, which provides added incentive to users to post on the app, and augment the number of pictures.

In its early days, the majority of BeReal’s audience came from France, the country of the app’s inception. Created by former French Go-Pro employee Alexis Barreyat, the app strives to encourage its users to express genuineness and spontaneity. BeReal deviates from other popular social media networks through its original take on features prevalent on Snapchat or Instagram

“BeReal is super fun for me because I love how it breaks down the barriers of likes, comments, photoshop and all that comes along with other social media platforms. It’s super cool just seeing everyone be themselves,” senior Angelica Ricardo said. 

Through apps like TikTok, the word of BeReal spread to teenage audiences quickly. Users of both BeReal and TikTok, post “photo dumps” of all the BeReals they took during an event or a specific month. Other social media apps like Instagram, feature people reposting their BeReals on stories and reels.  

BeReal connects people by showing them in their true forms and allowing their friends to support and build them up instead of tearing them down. High school students all over engage in the fresh take on social networks. Through the taking and receiving of BeReals, the app promotes the inclusion of every party involved. 

“Many times people have asked [me] to take their BeReal or to be in one! It’s very good at bringing people together, especially during school hours since we’re all stuck together. Many teens [of] this generation want to show more ‘authenticity’ with social media apps like posting casual Instagram posts, so BeReal helps express that idea,” magnet sophomore Neneh Bah said. 

One word describes BeReal: sincerity. The popular app offers a new way to look at social media, through a less judgemental, more carefree lens. Without warning, and anytime during the day, one becomes encouraged to stop, drop and to BeReal.