BeReal: The Instagram Alternative That’s Keeping it Real?
BeReal was hailed as a social media underdog and an anti-Instagram app that might push over the table. The numbers are impressive – at the beginning of 2022, there were about 2 million BeReal users, and now there are over 73 million. But does it mean BeReal will surpass social media tycoons like Instagram? Is BeReal really real?
BeReal – what is it?
First of all, it is important to understand what BeReal is. This social media app allows users to share real-time photos and videos without editing them in any way. This means that a user can post their “real” self, free from filters or fancy editing tools. There are also no likes or comments on the posts, which means it’s a safe space for users to express themselves without worrying about judgment from others.
Is BeReal less addictive?
One of the main claims against social media is its addictive potential. In other words, Instagram and other social networks aim to keep us scrolling – the more, the better (for them). BeReal is meant to be different, but what does the hard data say?
So, according to PhotoAiD’s survey-based study, most users (21.9%) spend between 20 and 40 minutes on BeReal daily, but not much less (21.6%) spend 40 minutes to 1 hour. At the same time, the average daily time spent on Instagram is 29 minutes, on TikTok it’s 59 minutes, and on YouTube it’s 19 minutes. The conclusion? BeReal users may spend slightly less than some of their counterparts, but there is no huge difference.
Is BeReal more “real”?
Another claim of BeReal is that it encourages users to be themselves and post “real” content without filters. The abovementioned study included the question: “BeReal offers a chance to show who I really am?”. Here are the results:
- 53% agreed with that statement
- 27% strongly agreed
- 17% were neutral
- 3% disagreed, and
- 0.7% strongly disagreed
What’s more, 75% of surveyed feel BeReal reduces the stress associated with appearing picture-perfect on social media.
Sounds good, isn’t it? Unfortunately, BeReal is not unblemished.
Even 43% of users retake BeReal 3–4 times before posting. So much for being spontaneous and in the moment!
Additionally, 80% of men and 84% of women wait until something interesting happens before taking a photo for their post – like arriving at a party.
As you can see, BeReal is not flawless.
Is BeReal free of causing mental health issues?
Mental health is one of the most serious concerns regarding social media. As per PhotoAiD’s study, an average of 68% of respondents claim they experience FOMO on BeReal, and 35% say it’s more intense than on other social media platforms.
So, it’s not like BeReal doesn’t neuter the feeling of missing out and other mental health issues caused by social media. But, as we’re discussing the anti-Instagram app, what about comparing it to Instagram itself?
The study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction found that those who used Instagram reported significantly higher levels of FOMO than those who did not use the app. Specifically, 62.5% of Instagram users reported experiencing FOMO, compared to 45.5% of non-users.
Moreover, according to PsychAlive, Instagram appears to be the most harmful of all major social media apps when it comes to its impact on our mental health. Not only can this popular photo-sharing app affect body image and sleep quality, but it has also been linked with higher rates of bullying and FOMO, as well as feelings such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
In comparison, BeReal does seem to be better for your mental health than Instagram and other social media apps. However, it is important to remember that no app is completely free of causing any kind of mental health issues – it’s all about how you use the app and what kind of content you post.
Instagram vs BeReal: A Comparison of App Downloads and Popularity Pace
Let’s consider hard, business-related data.
While Instagram is a well-established platform with over a billion users, BeReal is a relatively new player in the game, having launched in 2018. In terms of downloads, Instagram has a clear advantage. According to recent statistics, Instagram was downloaded over 2.6 billion times in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store combined (1 billion in the US only!), while BeReal has been downloaded “only” 73.5 million times. This shows that Instagram is still the king of social media when it comes to app downloads.
However, when it comes to popularity pace, BeReal is growing at a rapid pace. The app has gained significant traction in recent months, with many users praising it for its focus on mental health and well-being.
On the other hand, Instagram’s growth has been somewhat steady in recent years. While it continues to dominate the social media landscape, some users have become disillusioned with the platform’s focus on curated content and the pressure to present a perfect image.
BeReal, while still a relatively new player in the game, is quickly becoming popular due to its focus on mental health and well-being. It has been downloaded over 73 million times so far and appears to be gaining more traction with each passing day.
However, it’s important to remember that no app is entirely free of causing any kind of mental health issues. It’s all about how you use the app and what kind of content you post.
In comparison to Instagram, BeReal appears to be better for your mental health overall. However, it is still up against an established platform with over a billion users and billions of downloads – so it remains to be seen whether it will be able to compete with Instagram in the long run.
In any case, we can all agree that it’s important to use social media responsibly and take care of our mental health. BeReal is a great step forward in this direction – and its popularity shows that there is definitely demand for platforms like these.