The last thing you probably feel like you need right now is another social media app to spend your time scrolling on. Which is exactly why the recent rise of app BeReal is so interesting.
Every day, at a completely different time, everyone on BeReal is notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo. Sounds like a simple (and annoying) notification — but the kicker is that you only have 2 minutes to do so.
The idea is that the spontaneity removes the ability for users to "airbrush" their life. Having a dull lunch? Take a photo of that. Doing homework? That's fine. On a long car journey? Snap a pic. BeReal claims to be a "new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life" (without just hanging out with them of course).
Both BeReal and Dispo, which is another app that raised $20m of investment last year for its vintage-inspired platform, are tapping into a feeling of nostalgia for when things were a little simpler... even if their biggest user base (Gen-Z) can't remember a time before the internet.
Search traffic on Google for BeReal has exploded, and downloads hit more than 2 million in March, with early April data looking even higher (source: Axios).
Go deeper: BeReal: the saviour of social media, or a dystopian nightmare?