We know the drill: Snapchat adds the Stories feature, Instagram takes over. TikTok is popular, and Instagram is turning to short videos. So, here’s another one for the list. This week, Instagram slowly added a feature to its TikTok-clone Reels called Dual, which allows you to record with your front and back camera at the same time. At first glance, it looks a lot like BeReal, the busy two-year-old social media app that’s No. 1 now in the App Store.
Founded in France by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, BeReal markets itself as the anti-Instagram. At a different time each day, you’ll get a message saying it’s “time to BeReal” (a phrase that’s become its own meme). Since the announcement, you have two minutes to take a photo of whatever you are doing at that time, and you have no choice but to use the front and rear cameras. The idea is that this randomness produces the truth, but in practice, it means that we see many images of our friends on their laptops or watching Netflix.
Instagram Dual is a real rip-off of BeReal, but BeReal has also been criticized for copying Frontback, a short app that boasts users such as Jack Dorsey, Ashton Kutcher and the prime minister of Belgium. As its name suggests, Frontback lets you take photos with your phone’s front and rear cameras at the same time. Twitter expressed interest in buying the app, but the company raised a bankroll to pay… and eventually folded. Like many social media startups, Frontback was unable to sustain the interest of users beyond its popularity-in-the-pan.
BeReal is similar to Wordle
Instagram seems to be deleting BeReal, not Frontback, but Instagram seems to be missing the reason why people like BeReal. While both cameras look fun, BeReal is probably more like Wordle than Instagram or Frontback (e other authors also indicated). BeReal isn’t about photos but about the everyday process of sharing something with your friends. Yes, it’s not important to have a friend for dinner last night, but it’s fun to share a moment of the day with them. That friend probably doesn’t care if I get a Wordle in four or five points today. But we all made a habit of sharing our Wordle numbers with each other because it was a simple and easy way to connect, even if it was just a thumbs up.
“Wordle is a very complex way to browse,” Wordle creator Josh Wardle told TechCrunch earlier this year. “Sometimes you just give your product, sometimes you can respond to others, but this is the most comforting way to show others that you care about them. It’s a shared experience.”
BeReal has been heavily criticized for not being very reliable. If you miss the two-minute window every day, there is no penalty for that, so it is not difficult to just wait until you are at a nice dinner, rather than at your farewell table, to share your share. of your life. And if you actually use the app, chances are, you won’t be doing anything interesting. But BeReal isn’t about realism.
The Wordle craze proved that we want an online social experience that never dies. One Wordle a day, once you’ve done it, you’re done. And on BeReal, you and your friends are all limited to one message per day. Even if you check the feed two or three times to see if someone has posted a new BeReal, that’s probably less than when you open Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. It’s refreshing. You can’t feel FOMO on BeReal… if your friends post that you’re offline, it’s a MySpace-like worry.
BeReal’s latest take on Instagram’s identity crisis
BeReal may be on the Play Store charts now, but the app is still fighting hard to become a social media staple. One thing, it’s very clear now – even if you see the push notification every day when it comes out, you probably won’t be able to send it in the two minute window, because the request will take a long time. load when there are many users on it. Another concern is that, like on Snapchat, if you share your location on BeReal, you’re broadcasting your location, because friends can see your location on a map. Plus, we might get bored, like we do with Frontback — but then again, I’m still working on Wordle every day.
Every few years, it seems like a new challenger emerges to challenge Instagram’s dominance, but it’s hard to compete with an app that’s said to have more than 2 billion monthly active users. According to statistics from Apptopia, BeReal has been downloaded 7.67 million times year to date, representing 74.5% of its all-time installs. Because of this, BeReal is going ahead of Dispo, another beauty center that is also an Instagram replacement (CEO Daniel Liss though cast a shadow in Adam Mosseri’s Instagram post today).
Dispo, founded by now famous YouTuber David Dobrik, aims to capture the feeling of using a disposable camera. You can take as many photos as you want, but you won’t see them until the next morning. That way, you can’t do a job where you take 20 selfies before choosing the “best” one to post. BeReal does the same thing — if you retake your photo, your friends can share it — but the apps are fundamentally different, despite their goals of authenticity.
It’s been a bad week to be a Meta admin. The head of Instagram Adam Mosseri was in trouble for trying to protect the previous experiments on Instagram that seem similar to TikTok. And when Meta reported its quarterly earnings last night, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that recommended content will dominate our Instagram and Facebook feeds next year. People seem to think that people are missing out on Instagram when we always see the posts of our friends instead of the selected Videos from strangers. But that era of Instagram and users’ photo-realistic posts is the end of us and apps like Dispo and BeReal are still trying to create reality.
It’s hard to say who’s going to win here: the boring and boring BeReal, or the tried-and-true Instagram, an app we all hate but can’t use?
As fun as TikTok is, people can download an unlimited number of content feeds, generated by an algorithm. It’s always difficult if not impossible to get started on Instagram, but if there’s ever been a good time to invest in the growth of anger towards the app, it’s now.