Time to BeReal

BeReal was the number one download on the App Store from July to September, but what makes it so popular?


Sierra Tinsley

Senior Damian Cabrales takes his daily BeReal with his friends in the hallway. They pose to have the best picture possible. “I get to show off where I am at that specific time, and I get to see where everyone else is at,” Cabrales said.

Ainsley Cramer, Assistant Editor

“Time to BeReal. 2 min left to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!”

BeReal is a social media app that prompts users randomly once a day to post their BeReal. Everyone receives this notification at the same time, so people can see what their friends are doing.

“I like that you get to see what goes on behind the scenes of everyone’s life, and I’m very nosy, so I like that,” said Kinley Barker, Maize South senior. (Photo by Sierra Tinsley)

The goal of BeReal is to eliminate the typical staged and edited social media photos. Users take a photo with their front and back camera and no filter. The catch is users only have two minutes to post before it is considered late and all their friends are notified; but is BeReal becoming staged?

Maize South senior Kiley Schneweis thinks people are staging their BeReals so their life looks more fun. She said she knows people who will wait to post their BeReals when they are doing something fun, rather than when it goes off.

“It is being staged so much,” Schneweis said. “It’s not as fun. You’re supposed to be real not be fake” 

Maize High English teacher Justin Ralph decided to download BeReal after hearing about it from his students. He thinks it is a great way for teachers to connect with their students. 

“I think social media is a great tool for learning to meet kids where they’re at,” Ralph said. “BeReal is like it’s a very low entry point.”

Ralph said he thinks BeReal helps students recognize teachers are people like them.

“I want my students to know I’m a real person, so I don’t care if they get on social media and add me,” Ralph said. “What’s nice about BeReal is that it’s a lot lower stakes. It’s just posting one photo a day.”

BeReal was launched in December 2019, but has gained its popularity in recent months. The app’s active users have grown 315% this year according to Apptopia

“My favorite part of BeReal is asking strangers to take my BeReal.” said Tristin Combs, Maize High sophomore. (Photo by Sierra Tinsley)

Maize High senior Damian Cabrales said he thinks the main reason BeReal has become so popular is because of people posting about it on other social media, but he thinks the attention will go just as quickly as it came.

“In this society, so many new things come and they’re popular for a couple months, and then they’re not as popular,” Cabrales said. 

Ralph said he thinks a reason BeReal is so popular is because of its diversity in comparison to other social media platforms. Something that makes it different is the fact that you have to post your BeReal in order to see your friends’. Ralph likes this feature about the app and thinks it plays a role in why the app is so popular. 

“You can’t interact with the app until you take a picture is a good incentive or a motivator to actually post and get involved,” Ralph said. 

Maize High English teacher Savannah Fisher downloaded BeReal after it went off during class one day. She said she mostly uses BeReal to promote school activities.

“I like seeing what everybody’s up to,” said Ava Doyle, Maize High freshman. “I like how you can only post once a day.” (Photo by Sierra Tinsley)

One of the things Fisher likes most about BeReal is that you can’t edit and filter your photos or hide things like you can on Instagram.

“It encourages people to be more candid on social media and not portray anything fake,” Fisher said. 

Fisher thinks BeReal’s authenticity is a good way for students to realize people’s life isn’t always as it seems on other social media platforms.

“It’s very relatable for people because maybe on Instagram, they’re one person and they’re posing and editing pictures,” Fisher said, “but then you get to see, most of the time they’re just sitting at home or working on homework and they have a very normal life just like you.”