‘Anti-Instagram’ App BeReal Soars to Top of Apple Charts

BeReal is a photo-sharing application that has been called the “antiinstagram” and has taken the top spot on Apple’s App store charts in America. It beat TikTok.

In total, BeReal has been downloaded over 20 million times. It had 1. 7 million downloads during the week of July 11, the biggest weekly gain ever, while this past Saturday was the app’s best day ever for downloads, according to data shared with Fast Company by digital analytics platform Sensor Tower.

As well as taking the top spot among free apps in Apple’s U.S. Store, the United States is currently BeReal’s top market, representing about 35 percent of its users — followed by the U.K. with 17 percent and France with 10 percent.

BeReal topped the Apple U.S. chart for three consecutive days despite numerous complaints about the app’s inability to upload daily photos.

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However, University of Buffalo School of Management’s Professor Arun Lakshmanan tells the Los Angeles Times that it’s common for the infrastructure of social media apps to come under strain when demand suddenly surges.

BeReal’s boom echoes the early success of Instagram and Twitter, when platform glitches were frequent because of an overload of users.

“The faster an application is able to ramp up, the more likely it is to become popular and stable,” explains Lakshmanan.

What is BeReal?

BeReal is the antithesis of Instagram. It allows you to upload one image per day, and at a random time. Users are encouraged to share authentic content that doesn’t include editing and filters. Furthermore, users don’t get to decide when they share a photo. They are notified to share a photo in the current environment and given a time limit of two minutes.

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When the shutter button is pressed, BeReal captures using both a front and rear-facing camera making it impossible to hide behind the main camera. This bi-directional capture feature means that viewers get a complete snapshot of what the poster is up to at that moment.

The news of BeReal’s surging popularity comes as Instagram continues to focus on Reels as it competes with rival TikTok. Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri seemed to be doubling down today on his company’s video commitment in the face of widespread criticisms of its recent app changes.

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