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(Pocket-lint) - Social media is dominated by a select few companies, and the only real breakout success we've seen in years is TikTok.

Now though, it seems that newcomer BeReal is stepping up to the plate, with the app finding itself ranked number one in the iOS App Store's social networking category.

But if you're not up on the latest Gen Z trends, it might not have blipped your radar just yet. So, we delved into the hot new app to see what all the fuss is about.

What is BeReal?

BeReal describes itself as "the simplest photo sharing app" and prompts users to capture and share a daily photo in 2 minutes.

Every day at a different time, everyone is notified simultaneously to capture their photo. The brand is calling it a "new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life."

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It was founded in 2020 by Kevin Perreau and Alexis Barreyat, and in the time since it has amassed over 10 million downloads and a valuation of $600m (in May 2022). In March and April alone, the app saw a 157 per cent increase in downloads, so it's safe to say it's on the rise.

How does BeReal work?

As the description suggests, users globally get one notification per day, at a randomised time, instructing them to take their photos.

While the time is random, it is the same for all users, so it fosters a sense of community in a similar way to Wordle.

Everyone has two minutes to take their photo, otherwise, it will be marked as late.

BeReal What is BeReal and why is everyone talking about it? photo 2

The photo uses both front and rear cameras, so you can share what you're doing along with a selfie reaction to the situation.

There are no filters or image editing, it's supposed to be a raw glimpse into your daily goings-on. The whole concept is something of a reaction to Instagram's love of overly polished, planned photos. You won't find any of that here, just unfiltered realness.

In the app, you're prompted to add your phone number and allow access to your contacts. This makes it very easy to find and add your real-life friends.

As well as a feed showing your friend's posts, there's also a discover tab where you can find new people to follow. You can also add your photos to the discover feed, if you so choose, otherwise only your friends will be able to see them.

Finally, you can leave comments on your friend's posts, or react with a "RealMoji" - which is essentially just sending a selfie reaction photo to the post.

How to get BeReal

BeReal is available as an app for Android phones and iPhones. You can't currently access the app on your desktop.

If you want to try it out, you can find it on Google Play or the iOS App Store.

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Writing by Luke Baker.
Sections Apps