What is Be Real?
Be Real is the new and fast-growing social media platform that is piquing the interest of young people across the world. As the name suggests, it encourages users to take a moment each day to post something ‘real’ and celebrates authenticity over followers. The terms and conditions of this app state the minimum age of use is 13 years old.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat are filled with perfectly timed photos, influencers, advertisements, and algorithms designed to keep you scrolling for hours. It appears that young people now want something different. A platform that promotes the unedited and unfiltered self. It is no surprise that Be Real has seen a 29,200% increase in daily active users in the last year and currently has almost 3 million active users.
How does it work?
What makes this platform stand out for the better?
It is focused on friends and not followers. Unlike other platforms, it does not reward likes, filters, or followers but instead encourages a genuine snapshot in time.
There is less opportunity to engage with strangers. You can set your image to only be viewed by ‘friends’. If you post a photo which can be viewed by ‘everyone’, only your friends can comment on this. There is no private messaging feature – so no strangers trying to send you messages through direct (DMS) or private (PMS) messaging.
There is no algorithm designed to keep you on the app for hours at a time. The app asks you to post at one moment in the day, and once you have caught up on your friends’ photos/those on discovery (which theoretically are posted at the same time) then there is very little else to do on the app.
What are the dangers I need to be aware of?
While the app has reduced the risks that exist with other platforms such as removing the ability to directly message one another – like you can on other platforms – this social media platform is not without its risks.
Not only is it dangerous to share your location (which this app does/can with each image), it could also allow others to get to know your routine and know where you are at particular times in the day.
Knowing what your friends are doing at the same time as you could have social implications – if a user sees all of their friends doing something at that time and they were not invited, for example or could cause you to compare yourself to another person.
The app uses both the front and back camera (but when you take the photo, this isn’t necessarily clear) which means if you do not take extra care to be aware of your surroundings, you may share something that you do not want others to see particularly when you are rushed to take an image within the 2-minute window.
If you decide to post publicly then this will appear on the Discover Page and anyone around the world can see this content.
Many parents tell us how difficult it can be to get their child(ren) or teen to put down their phone, this app could encourage phone attachment further. Users will not want to miss their posting time (it is clear to your friends on the app if you have missed it or posted late, and how many times you have retaken a photo).
What can we do as parents?
*App Update April 2023*
A new bonus feature has been launched on the app in the UK. If a user posts within the 2-minute window, they can then also post additional photos (up to 3 times a day). Those who miss the 2-minute window will not be able to use this feature.
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