BeReal, an app on the rise, becomes popular among students


Ana Campos quickly snaps a photo with Cameron Plemons before the two-minute timer to take a BeReal runs out. Photo by Ana Campos.

Founded in 2020, BeReal lets their users showcase themselves, their friends, and what they’re doing at the moment. On a daily basis, people are notified at any point in time once a day to capture a photo right then and there.

After gaining popularity over the past few months, BeReal has gained more than 20 million downloads and continues to grow. It is currently at its peak of number three on the Apple App Store’s Free Apps section of ‘Top Charts,’ beating TikTok at number four while also being the number one Social Networking app.

“I think BeReal has become popular lately because it allows you to see what your friends are up to in real time. The catch is it only allows you to see what your friends post if you post a picture first,” Priscilla Romero said. 

Once receiving the notification, a two-minute timer immediately starts counting down for the individual to take a photo. If not taken within the two minutes, the picture will have been considered “late.”

“It’s pushing us to post pictures at random times of the day with a two-minute time limit. No time for staging the picture – it’s just you and what you’re doing in that moment,” Romero said.

Various features that are included are the dual camera, custom reaction photos and the discovery section. Users have to take a picture through their front and back lenses of their camera in order to post. The picture-taking process of BeReal does not include any filters or editing features to emphasize the authenticness of an ‘in-the-moment’ photo. Personalized photos of yourself, or, “RealMojis” can also be used as reactions towards your friends’ “BeReal’s” which acts similarly to a “like” button. Substituting these features with actual reactions adds to the genuineness of everyone in the moment.

Ana Campos’s favorite feature is the RealMoji feature. “I like how friends can answer our BeReals because their responses are unique and funny,” Campos said.

Due to BeReal’s ability to encourage their users to think on the spot for taking photos, people have to be creative wherever they are. Whether it’s outside with their friends or in class with their peers, students – and even teachers – have the chance to utilize the authenticity of their everyday lives to participate in this app.

Mr. Patrick Gale has witnessed students taking their BeReal during his class and has been part of them himself. “They’re being more part of a community. If that gets students to get relaxed and calm and if my classroom is comfortable for them, then that’s great,” Gale said.