How to use the BeReal app

Think about it: What if social networks pushed everyone (not just people who are doing cool things) to take filter-free photos of what they're doing? How many of your friends will reveal that they actually do ultimatum marathons on the couch, or wash dishes, or add things to their Amazon shopping carts that they don’t really need? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that not everyone is attending Coachella?

French developer Alexis Barreyat has launched a popular app called BeReal that aims to take the rose-tinted glasses out of the social media experience. First launched in late 2020, the concept behind the app is simple: At different times of the day, all users are prompted to take a photo of themselves (what they were doing at the time) and share it, without filters or editing. Users have a full two minutes to use the front and back of the camera to take everyday photos. (Read: Prepare to see yourself looking like a toe, but luckily, all your friends will too.)

That's the point - not just seeing everyone in an unflattering light, but getting a real look at people's lives. Perhaps that's why BeReal has been trending on TikTok on and off for the past three months. It's currently the No. 2 social networking app on the App Store, with over 18,000 reviews, many of which have rave reviews, praising the app for providing a simple, filter-free way for close friends to stay connected.

Ready to see what all the hype about spontaneous photoshoots is about? Here's how to get started with BeReal.

How to set up BeReal


Head to the App Store or Google Play Store to download the free app. Swipe through the introductory slides, then fill in your full name, birthday and phone number to activate your account with a text message confirmation code. Once you confirm that you're not a robot, you can create a username and decide whether to allow the app to access your contacts to help you connect with friends. Next, you have to enable notifications, which will tell you when you need to post. (If you select Notes to turn on notifications, you'll miss out on an important BeReal experience, but you can still create an account.)

How to live an authentic life


When you click on your daily BeReal notification, the camera will open and a two-minute timer will begin counting down. Before the timer runs out, you can take a photo of what you see and sneak a photo of how you currently look. If you don't like your photo, take it again while you still have time. When you're ready, click to share with friends.

How to add and interact with friends on BeReal

After sharing your daily BeReal, you can add friends by searching for their username (if they already use the app) or by sharing a download link with them. Click Discover to see what others around the world are doing at the moment, and click on their avatar to add them to your friends list.


If you like someone's post, you can click on the smiley face in the lower right corner of their photo. You can choose to send them emojis or live face snaps to show off your best emoji impression.