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Blog Posts for Social Media Managers

We Used BeReal for a Month. Here's What We Learned

Updated on October 26, 2022
6 minute read

⚠️ Can you truly "be real" on social media? ⚠️

Published October 26, 2022

What happens when you remove the filters, followers, and curation from social media? 

Enter: BeReal

While perfectly-curated feeds and posts were once the norm, BeReal challenges us to "get candid." 

But can we truly stop "performing"?

P.S., it's Alyssa here. I spend too much time scouring the depths of the internet, and I have the BeReals to prove it. 

Screenshot x2 of Alyssa's BeReals.

This past month, Later set out to learn more about the app shaking up social media, and find out if we can truly “be real” online.

30 sum notifications and “real” moments later, here’s what we found. 

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What is BeReal?

Created to capture “real” moments, BeReal challenges us to show our friends who we “really are, for once."

Every day, the photo-sharing app notifies users to share what they're doing in real-time. 

And they only have two minutes to do so.

Screenshot of BeReal notification on lock screen.

Launched in late 2019, BeReal has since grown its user base by 315% in 2022 alone. 

The recent buzz has sparked social media giants to take note and create their own features with a similar spin, like TikTok Now and Instagram Candid Challenges

It even made its way to an episode of SNL:

But with only 9% of active Android users opening the app daily compared to Instagram’s 39% and TikTok’s 29%, we’re curious to see how BeReal will evolve. 

P.S. Later is a social media management tool trusted by over 4M businesses, creators, and social media managers. Create an account and start planning and scheduling your social media content, today:

How to Share a BeReal

Sharing a photo on BeReal is pretty straightforward.

First, when you receive the BeReal push notification, tap in to immediately open the app.

If you’re a new user, the app will prompt you to post when you set up your account. 

Screenshot of BeReal notification + camera view with arrows.

To capture your BeReal, frame what’s in front of you, make an expression at the front facing camera, and press the shutter button. 

Screenshot of captured BeReal.

If you wish to retake your BeReal, hit the “X” in the top right corner and follow the above steps before the two-minute timer runs out.

Once you’re happy with it, hit “Send.”

TIP: Double tap your screen to change your camera view before capturing your BeReal. 

How to Delete a BeReal

Felt you were being too real or changed your mind about your post? Here’s how to delete your BeReal: 

  1. Tap the three dots at the bottom of your post and hit “Options.”

  2. Tap “Delete my BeReal.” For public posts, there’s also an option to remove your post from the Discovery feed so it’s only visible to your friends. 

  3. Select the reason you want to delete your BeReal and tap “Yes, I’m sure” to remove your post. You'll then be prompted to post a new BeReal.

    How to delete a BeReal 1/2.

Secret's safe with us!

How to Send a Friend Request on BeReal

You can’t possibly “be real” without witnesses. Here’s how to add your friends on BeReal: 

  1. Tap on the icon representing two human figures on the top left corner of your screen. 

  2. At the top of your screen, tap the search bar labeled “Add or search friends” and type in the username of the friend you want to add.

  3. When their profile appears, tap “Add” to finish the request. You’re all set!

How to add a friend on BeReal.

NOTE: Under the “Suggestions” tab, you also have the option to add friends from your phone’s contact list. 

3 Things We Learned Using BeReal for 30 Days

We used BeReal every single day for a month. Here's what we learned:

  1. Let Go of the Need to Be "Perfect" on Social Media

  2. That Said, We're Still Curating Our Lives

  3. Brands Can Tap Into Authenticity, Too

Learning #1: Let Go of the Need to Be "Perfect" on Social Media

We’re accustomed to using social media as a highlight reel and putting our best faces (and moments) forward.

But with BeReal’s spur-of-the-moment notification to share spontaneous (and unedited) photos, that no longer applies.

Cue us shamelessly watching the last two minutes of Fleabag for the fourth time: 

Alyssa's BeReal watching Fleabag.

Similar to the growing trend amongst creators to abandon "perfection" on social media (think Instagram photo dumps or unfiltered TikTok videos), BeReal forces us to show a less glamorized version of ourselves.

And with no clear likes or curation, there’s no pressure to garner engagement either. 

The entire concept of BeReal reminds us that “perfection” is on its way out and "authenticity" is in (more on that, later).

Learning #2: That Said, We're Still Curating Our Lives

In a nutshell, being authentic on social media requires you to be true to you — even if it's an online version.

But how authentic can we really be when we have control over what we share and how we share it?

“I’m interested in seeing more spontaneous, unfiltered posts but I’m not sure it’s possible to achieve true authenticity on social media," says Hannah McInall, Later’s Content Marketing Specialist.

“There’s always a level of curation when you know other people will see your content.” 

Hence our dilemma.

The more we used BeReal, the more we felt the urge to get creative with poses, put effort into our appearance, or move to a different location when the notification went off. 

Because who really wants to see another photo of your WFH desk? Boring, capital B. 

But it is authentic…right? 

And judging by the rise of “mundane” content like Emily Mariko making a salmon rice bowl, or Mia Lind going on a hot girl walk, maybe we’re all looking for something a little bit more boring and relatable — even if it’s slightly curated. 

The takeaway? Embrace the mundane and let your IRL moments inspire your content.

Learning #3: Brands Can Tap Into Authenticity, Too

While BeReal doesn’t currently allow formal advertising, some brands have joined the platform to introduce us to the people behind-the-scenes.

For example, here’s an Ulta Beauty employee giving us a glimpse into their day, no filters: 

@ultabeauty on BeReal.

While brands don't have to join BeReal, they can be inspired by its concept.

The truth is, “authentic” content is growing on mainstream social platforms — and brands need to think about how they can fit into the equation.

Because when you strip back the corporate mask and tap into authenticity, you can build an engaged community on any platform:

So, can you truly “be real” on social media? Not technically.

As long as there’s a screen separating you from your audience, you’re always going to perform in some way — but that doesn’t mean you can’t show more of yourself online.  

Maybe you don’t need to BeReal — you just need to be intentional about the content you choose to share (and why you’re sharing it). 

With Later, you can plan and publish your social media posts in advance for free. Join over 4M businesses, creators, and social media managers now and create an account:

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.

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