Upon receiving the daily notification, users have 2 minutes to launch the app and photograph their location.
APPLICATION – A selfie and a photo of your surroundings at different times every day: this is the principle of BeReal, a social network created by two French people, which promises an experience without filters , away from the veneer of Instagram.
Upon receiving the daily notification, users have 2 minutes to launch the app and photograph their location. Their friends can react by mimicking emojis like a thumbs up, a surprised pout or a hilarious face.
In fashion “discovery”photos of users randomly parked: one shows a game of billiards in progress, another the checkout of a fast food restaurant, the third a video broadcast on a computer.
35 million installs
Launched in 2020, the platform has been a hit for a few months, especially with Generation Z, born between the end of the 1990s and the beginning of 2010. It has a total of nearly 35 million installations, according to data provided by the special company datos.ai.
BeReal was even the most downloaded mobile application in the United States at the beginning of September (iOS and Google Play combined) and was in the top 3 in France and the United Kingdom.
Despite its popularity, the Paris startup has closed its communication and its leaders do not give interviews to the media. In response to a request from AFP, BeReal sent a short information sheet detailing the operation of the application.
A selfie and a photo of your surroundings at different times every day: this is the principle of BeReal.
In the LinkedIn profile of the co-founders, Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, we learn that they studied computer coding school “42”which was created and funded by the billionaire Xavier Niel, and that both of them are passionate about extreme sports.
Alexis Barreyat, who is from Drôme, mainly worked for the action camera manufacturer GoPro before creating BeReal, which now employs around a hundred people.
In the summer of 2021, the startup raised $30 million from several investors, including the US venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz and Kima Ventures, the company that holds the capital of Xavier Niel. According to the special site Business Insidera new round of funding in May saw BeReal raise an additional $85 million, valuing the company at $600 million.
Show his true face
According to Kima Ventures director Jean de la Rochebrochard, the idea for BeReal came to Alexis Barreyat while filming a mountain bike demonstration for GoPro.
“While he lives in the moment, he is surprised to see many influencers who are excited about conducting their lives with countless photos and stories, try many filters and lose the show completely”wrote Jean de la Rochebrochard on his blog. “It even made some of them and their audience unhappy. »
According to Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies, the attraction for BeReal comes from a need for authenticity in response to the too perfect images of a network like Instagram. “People are tired of perfectly smooth pictures that don’t reflect real life”describes the analyst.
“For Gen Zers, this seems like fertile ground because they want to show who they are, what their lives are really like and what they’re doing”he added.
Real passion or flash in the pan?
It remains to be seen whether BeReal will be able to register in the long term or just be a flash in the pan, as thought by Jennifer Stromer-Galley, professor at the school of information sciences at the University of Syracuse (State from New York ): “There is no obvious reason to stay there beyond the voyeurism of observing other people’s life experiences”says the academic.
The application also raises questions about the privacy management of its users. “Let’s say the rear camera shows a friend, your children, where you live, or your desk or computer screen”think of Jennifer Stromer-Galley, who wonders about the use that hackers or stalkers can make of this data.
For now, BeReal continues any case of intrigue. Instagram has developed a prototype with similar functionality but told AFP it was not yet in the testing phase.
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