Is BeReal better than Instagram? What makes the social media app so special

A new social media app is coming and it wants to be a better alternative to Instagram. BeReal relies on authenticity and a touch of nostalgia. But what makes BeReal different from Instagram?

It is at the top of the downloads charts in the App Store and Google Play Store. We’re talking about BeReal, a new social media app that aims to compete with Instagram while also commemorating its beginnings.

The concept of BeReal

In contrast to Instagram, whose focus is increasingly clearly on short videos, BeReal limits itself to being a pure photo platform. On the start page, the user can choose between two options. Under “My friends” he finds photos of his friends, under “Discovery” photos of strangers. However, you can only see other users’ photos if you have uploaded a photo yourself that day. And here, too, BeReal has added a twist. The app sends a push message to all users once a day. They then have two minutes to take a photo. The in-app camera from BeReal must be used for this, it is not possible to use saved photos. The front and rear cameras are triggered simultaneously and combined into a single photo. Then the photos of all users are shared at the same time.

At BeReal you only have two minutes to take a photo.


At BeReal you only have two minutes to take a photo.

© BeReal

The result: A much more realistic depiction of everyday life. Instead of polished and edited influencer photos, you see a reflection of what your friends and strangers from around the world are experiencing right now. And these are not just pictures of the beach on Mallorca, but ordinary everyday life in the office, in the waiting room at the doctor’s or when shopping. BeReal evokes the charm known from the early days of Instagram and even Facebook – to let your friends participate in the day.

And this big difference to Instagram is also BeReal’s greatest strength. Instagram is increasingly focusing on “reels”, i.e. short videos. The big competitor Tik Tok has grown massively in recent years and could soon overtake Instagram in terms of user numbers. But many of Instagram’s longtime users are taking offense at the app’s evolution from a photo to a video platform.

Since photos cannot be pre-produced on BeReal, building a brand is also much more difficult. As a result, businesses and influencers will struggle to gain a foothold on the platform. Many users also see this positively.

Will BeReal Instagram get dangerous? Probably not. The problem lies in the compulsion to post your own pictures in order to see those of others. Because social media thrives on the silent audience that consumes content on the platform but doesn’t contribute much content themselves. Not everyone wants to present their everyday life or even their vacation on social media. And for this target group, BeReal is completely uninteresting.

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