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BeReal App - a 2 minute guide for parents, carers & educators

BeReal is currently the most downloaded app in Australia- but what exactly is it and what do you need to know? The team at Inform & Empower have been using it for the past week and this is what we know...

How does BeReal work?

Once a day, all users receive a notification to post a photo…well actually 2 photos as it takes a front facing and selfie facing photo. The time of this notification changes every day, but everyone on the app is notified at exactly the same time. Once this notification is received, users of the app have 2 minutes to post a live photo (nothing already on their camera roll) showing what they are doing in that exact moment.

Once the photo is taken, the camera then flips so it captures what is happening on both sides of the lens. This allows users to create a snapshot of their life each day. If you miss the notification, you still have the option to post late, however you can’t see your friends photos until you post yourself.

How is it different from other social media?

Unlike Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, the photos posted on BeReal are unedited, unglamorous and often mundane. It’s more about a quirky look into the everyday lives of your friends rather than getting the perfect filter and perfect angle to gain followers and likes (there is no follower or like counters). As users can only post once per day, it encourages a limit on the time spent on the app. There are also currently no sponsored ads or influencers on BeReal, so everything you view is from either your friends or the public feed.

Who can see your photos?

When you post your photo, you have the option to post to your friends (only people who have accepted a request) or the public. If you choose to post to the public feed, anyone can see your photo.

Commenting & reacting to posts

There are only two ways to interact with posts - commenting or leaving a “Realmoji”. A Realmoji is a selfie whilst attempting to replicate an emoji reaction.

Friends: you can comment or leave a Realmoji. All comments you leave on a post can also be seen by any other friends of that person, even if they are not a mutual friend.

Public posts (people you’re not friends with): you cannot comment, only leave a Realmoji

Note: There is no private messaging or DMs

What about location sharing?

You can enable or disable location sharing. If enabled, You have the option to add an exact location to their photo when shared with friends, or an approximate location if shared publicly.

Can you see posts of 'randoms' (people you're not friends with)?

Yes, through the Discovery feature. Anyone can scroll an infinite feed of BeReals from across the world. Inappropriate content can be shared and will only be removed if it is reported.

Other considerations...

  • The age limit for BeReal is 13 years- users have to enter their date of birth to create an account.

  • There are no parental controls.

  • Users should be aware of their surroundings and what is in their posts, including posting photos of people without their consent.

  • Users are strongly encouraged to report any images that may contain inappropriate content, however BeReal don’t monitor content on the app.

  • Our number one tip for this app and absolutely everything online is to prioritise open and judgemental free communication. Ask curious questions and ensure the young people in your life have the confidence to come to you no matter how big or small the issue is.

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