Over the last 10 years, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have dominated the social media space, especially when it comes to sharing photos. However, the focus has often been on achieving perfection, editing snaps until they are flawless and ensuring impeccable lighting. Now, a new app called BeReal is challenging this trend by encouraging users to be authentic. BeReal is an emerging photo-sharing app that prompts users to share unedited moments from their daily lives with their friends.
Some describe it as a combination of Instagram Stories and Snapchat, with a mission to discover who your friends truly are. Let’s explore how BeReal has risen to a valuation of 600 million dollars and become a game-changer in the social media landscape.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a photo-sharing app that encourages users to capture the realities of everyday life rather than striving for the perfect Instagram-worthy shot. The app operates by sending users a random notification during the day, giving them two minutes to take a photo of what they are currently doing. BeReal utilizes both the front and back cameras, allowing users to show their surroundings and their facial expression simultaneously. This approach aims to provide an unfiltered glimpse into users’ lives, in contrast to the curated content typically shared on other social media platforms.
Unlike traditional photo-sharing apps, BeReal emphasizes real-time interaction with friends. Users’ uploaded photos can be reacted to by friends, fostering engagement and conversation. Additionally, users have the option to create a memory file of all the BeReal photos they upload, similar to the concept of “One Second Every Day.” This feature enables users to compile snapshots of their lives, showcasing the authenticity of everyday moments.
Background of BeReal
BeReal was founded in 2020 by a French entrepreneur named Alexis Barrier. Barrier’s journey to developing BeReal was influenced by his time at the 42 coding schools founded by French billionaire Xavier Neil, where he honed his programming skills. Prior to BeReal, Barrier worked as a video producer at GoPro and as a freelance iOS developer.
Initially, Barrier faced challenges impressing investors with his concept. However, everything changed when Javier Neil, the son of Xavier Neil, started using the app. Neil’s involvement led to seed investment from Neil’s investment companies, New Wave and Keema Ventures, valuing BeReal at around 10 million euros. Subsequently, Andreessen Horowitz and Axel led a 13 million investment in BeReal during its Series A funding round. These investments propelled the app’s growth, resulting in over 20 million global installs, with nearly 7 million downloads in April 2022 alone.
In May 2022, BeReal secured its Series B funding led by DST Global, further increasing the company’s valuation to an impressive 600 million dollars. BeReal’s success can be attributed to its ability to tap into the social power of Generation Z, providing a platform that resonates with their desire for authenticity and a more realistic representation of their friends’ lives.
The Mission of BeReal
BeReal’s mission is to humanize social media by showcasing a more authentic version of people’s lives. The app’s tagline, “It’s now possible on BeReal: no filters, no likes, no followers, no ads—just your friends for real,” encapsulates its vision. BeReal aims to move away from the pressure of posting the perfect photo that often leads to fear of missing out (FOMO) and negatively impacts mental health.
Instead, the app allows users to witness that most people live similarly mundane lives, spending time working, studying, and simply enjoying everyday activities. BeReal aspires to create an environment where users can experience real-life moments without filters or pretense.
BeReal is challenging the dominance of Snapchat and Instagram by introducing a refreshing approach to photo sharing. By promoting authenticity and providing a glimpse into everyday life, BeReal has garnered significant attention and investment. With its growing user base and valuation of 600 million dollars, the app has captured the essence of what many users desire—an unfiltered social media experience centered around genuine connections.
As BeReal continues to evolve, it poses a considerable threat to established platforms, reminding them to adapt and embrace the concept of real-life moments in a digital world.