BeReal gets more social with ‘friends of friends’ feature
BeReal is trying to be real. And if we’re being real, what’s the point of that Discovery feed, anyway?
The once-a-day, spontaneous photo-sharing app BeReal differentiates itself from other social apps by inviting us to connect with our friends, not a wider audience. There’s no such thing as a BeReal influencer or celebrity, and there’s no way to tell how many friends someone else has on BeReal.
Yet for some reason, the platform has always dedicated serious in-app real estate to a Discovery feed, where you can see what random people you aren’t friends with are doing (so long as they opt to make their posts public). Now, BeReal is replacing Discovery with a Friends of Friends feed, where you can see what your friends’ friends are up to (if they opt-in), which is probably more interesting than knowing that someone in Illinois is shopping at Target right now.
On any BeReal post, you can toggle whether you want to share with friends of friends, or just friends. You can remove an individual from your friends of friends feed if you don’t want to see their posts, but there’s also a block function if you don’t want to see or be seen by someone altogether.
In another attempt to make BeReal more social, the app is giving you a bit more customization over how potential friends view your profile. Now, you can choose three past BeReal posts to pin to your profile. Also, BeReal is adding mentions, so you can use the @ sign to tag your friends in your posts.
BeReal says it’s holding steady at around 20 million daily active users, even though the app has cooled off after going viral last year. The app was so hot that TikTok even copied it, but since then, TikTok has sunsetted that feature, which was called TikTok Now. Snapchat and Instagram also pushed features that use both the front and back phone cameras at the same time, but they’re a bit more hidden than TikTok Now was.
Though BeReal was slow to iterate at first, the France-based team has picked up the pace, rolling out several new features over the last few months. These include Bonus BeReal, RealChat and a Spotify integration.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.