BeReal and the Doomed Quest for Online Authenticity

"ON ITS ASCENT to the coveted top spot in app store charts, BeReal—the French photo-sharing app launched in 2020—has been heralded as the antidote to social media fakery. Staving off canny staging and slick curation, BeReal gives users just two minutes following a prompt to submit a dual front-camera/back-camera image. Only after posting their own BeReal are users able to view their friends’ dual image montages of “the moment and the reaction,” sans filters and FaceTune."

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Jacqui Vanliew; Getty Images