Are we over the perfect insta aesthetic? A look at BeReal

Remember the time when we used to spend ages curating the perfect Instagram feed, wondering whether this post will fit into our grid aesthetic? Pre-covid, Instagram was selling an aspirational lifestyle with no hint of reality, however a year spent indoors threw a spanner in the works! With people being stuck at home, what did this mean for the Instagram grid? Did people just stop posting? No, they started posting their realities.

Authenticity with Instagram Stories

People started to dabble in authentic content a few years ago via Instagram stories. Users shared snapshots into the reality of their lives, but still very much their best moments that they wanted to show off. Oh, you’re at an expensive restaurant? Of course, you were going to take a picture of that steak and tag the location – because you wanted your followers to know. You are still contributing to the aspirational narrative, that is so deeply ingrained in Instagram user’s posting habits.

However, even with stories offering a slight hint at authenticity, pre-covid, the Instagram grid has typically retained its ‘perfectly curated’ style of content. Each draft post was scrutinised, edited multiple times, on a number of different editing apps to make sure it was the perfect post. Two years later, scrolling through photo dumps of people’s random pictures with no context are the norm.

A photo dump really is as unglamourous as it sounds. It’s a collection of unedited images from someone’s camera roll, posted as a carousel on to the Instagram feed, to convey a ‘mood’ or to show collection of pictures over a specific period of time. You will quite often see people post, ‘holiday dumps’ or monthly round-up dumps.

Photo dumps aren’t just used by people – they are being used by brands regularly and are a great way of sharing the authenticity of your brand with your followers.


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BeReal: Authenticity to a new level

Authenticity is about to get taken to a whole new level. ‘BeReal’, a new social media app is gaining virality and is already a popular alternative to Instagram for Gen Z.

Currently number 3 in Apple App charts, BeReal is a unique photo sharing app which is unlike any other social media app we have seen before. It works by all users receiving a notification at the same time. This notification will inform users its ‘Time to BeReal’, and users are expected to open the app and share a photo of what they are doing right at that moment in time.

Within a 2-minute time window, the app will take a snapshot showing other users what’s in front of you using the front-facing camera, and a selfie of yourself using the rear facing camera. Users then have the option to share with their friends or share publicly based on location. Using a similar functionality to Instagram, the app has a feed for friends and a feed to explore people you are not connected to.

As the app is based around a once-a-day notification, people will be caught in the moment, requiring them to capture the reality of whatever they are doing there and then. It also allows to see non edited selfies of what the person looks like at that exact moment.

From my perspective, I think the concept of this app is fantastic for younger users who have been brought up in an age of social media to get a realistic view of what their peers’ lives are like. Instagram has been damaging to a lot of people’s mental health as it has caused people to compare their own lives to influencers on the internet.

I also don’t think it will be long until the real authentic content diminishes, and curated content creeps in. Users will get bored of seeing the mundane day to day lives of people walking their dogs, at school or working from home. It won’t be long before brands will want to hop onto the trend, but will likely recruit the use of influencers to share behind the scenes shots of their latest photoshoots or press parties.

If you would like to speak to our team about using BeReal or general help with your social media strategy, read more about our Social Media Marketing service and speak with us today.


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