Parents' Guide to

BeReal

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Slightly buggy, yet potentially intriguing way to connect.

Initial screen.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 12+

Promotes Being Real

This seems to be a good alternative for kids who can’t have Snapchat, like my daughter. The app prompts everyone to post a picture, once a day, to show their friends what they are doing at that time. They can only see friends posts and vice versa. It takes a pic of the person and of what is in front of them. There are no filters and it shows how many times they took a picture before they landed on the one they posted. The purpose is to show you truly what your friends are doing at that moment, not edited pictures of perfection. I like the message of this app, which is to stop faking your life and be real. The downside I see right now with it, is the same reason I won’t let my daughter have Instagram. If a bunch of kids are together and your child isn’t included in the group at the moment the notification comes in to take the pic, they can feel left out or have FOMO. But they would have to catch them at that moment in time, not something that can be taken and posted later. All social media can have the potential to cause hurt feelings or bullying. But so far, this app has been fun for my daughter to see what her friends are up to in that moment, not staged perfect photos. This app is the most popular one amongst the middle schoolers at my daughter’s school.
age 11+

Great for kids that cant get snapchat

My kid loved this its a good way to connect with friends I wont let them get snapchat but this is a much safer alternative.

Privacy Rating Warning

  • Unclear whether personal information is sold or rented to third parties.
  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personalised advertising.
  • Unclear whether data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • Unclear whether this product uses a user's information to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This app bills itself as a more authentic, less time-consuming social media experience than Instagram and Facebook -- and could be an interesting way to stay in touch. The exact time that BeReal prompts users to take a photo changes each day, but everyone gets the notification at once. In theory, that should provide a glimpse of what your friends or other acquaintances are up to at that moment, instead of people only sharing posed and planned photos. Kids can't use filters or make other edits before sharing the image, and the app's overall structure eliminates any anxiety about coming up with a clever caption or visually novel image. Some posts may be mundane, but other users will expect that -- and they'll be sharing images that show unglamorous parts of their daily routine, too.

The timing element might not always work well, if kids miss the notification or can't immediately take a photo because they're in the middle of class or somewhere else. You can post something after the earmarked window, but that may detract somewhat from the sense of connection real-time posting provides. There's no option to like posts -- kids can instead take and use selfie versions of popular emojis, where they're laughing, surprised, or replicating other facial expressions. If that was intended to stave off stress about whether their posts are getting a lot of approval, it's unclear if it'll have that effect. The amount of comments and RealMojis a post gets could potentially affect kids' self-esteem in the same way seeing the total number of likes a post has received might. As a number of app store reviews have noted, BeReal can have some upload delays and other functionality issues. You don't seem to be able to easily delete and retake your daily image if you accidentally film yourself out of frame, for example, or just don't like the end result -- and the navigation appears to reach a dead end at points. If you're in the process of leaving a RealMoji on someone's post, for instance, and decide you don't want to, there's no cancel or back button. You have to close and reopen the app to exit that screen. Kids may find that, while they appreciate the once-a-day timeframe, having a little more control over some aspects of the app might make using it easier. The premise, though, has promise. With a few tweaks, BeReal could serve as a consistently fun way to check in with friends and family and get a low-key, granular look at part of their everyday life.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: May 3, 2022
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Publisher: BeReal
  • Version: 0.33.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 13.0 or later or Android 5.0 and up.
  • Last updated: May 13, 2022

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