With Twitter’s policy changes being the driving force behind an exodus of users, and Instagram’s clutch over the market slowly fizzling out, an abrupt gap appears to be taking shape within the social media space.
Vying to capitalize on it are a number of contenders, including a bunch of Twitter clones, some formulaic attempts at photo-sharing platforms, and the oddly refreshing take on the social media experience offered by French app BeReal.
The app, which was initially released in 2020, has garnered a sizable user base already, and by the looks of it, some social media-savvy Footballers have also climbed aboard the BeReal train.
BeReal’s differentiating factor is given away by the app’s name itself; its emphasis on keeping things ‘real’.
The app’s core functionality revolves around a 2-minute posting window, one that can occur at any random point during the day.
Directed towards improving the authenticity of social media content, users will only be allowed to post within that 2-minute time limit.
Furthermore, the app encourages users to post images of themselves and their surroundings, which serve as an update of their day for their followers on the platform.
To hammer home the focus on authenticity, the platform features no image filters or edit templates.
Despite the barebones nature of its approach, BeReal’s emphasis on authenticity has attracted many users to the platform, especially in early and mid-2022. Among its surprising adopters is Manchester City star Jack Grealish.
The England International already maintains an active presence on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, which boast 6.5 million and 1.2 million followers respectively.
And over the past months, Grealish has also turned into a frequent BeReal user.
His uploads on the platform stretch back to the Qatar World Cup, as the forward uploaded a picture from the Three Lions dressing room.
His uploading spree has only continued since then, with his most recent posts coming after City’s win against Arsenal.
The former Aston Villa man uploaded a picture which displayed him receiving a foot massage in the Citizen’s dressing room.
The picture went viral online as it provided a peek at City’s ‘goals’ for the season, as seen on the pillar located on the far right side.
It also reaffirmed Grealish’s fondness for the BeReal platform, one that he shares with Roma forward Paulo Dybala.
The Argentina International is another well-known BeReal user, and he actually uploads pictures pretty frequently.
His ‘BeReal’s include this photo of him relaxing at his home and a mini-tour of his impressive sneaker collection
The BeReal craze within Football circles doesn’t just stop here, as the social media platform actually brought about 2 popular trends; one for the players and one for the fans.
The first saw players click a BeReal while holding their UCL Man of the Match honours, the likes of Jorginho, Reece James and Andy Robertson all participated in the trend.
The second trend saw match-going fans request players to take a BeReal for them, which lead to some excellent results.
But for all the platform’s merits, the emphasis on authenticity can often lead to some unfortunate and extreme results. And there’s no better example of this than the recent incident involving former Spurs star Dele Alli.
The Besiktas player was captured in a BeReal by his associate, one which displayed Alli being surrounded by bottles of Nitrous Oxide, also known as ‘happy crack’.
Naturally, the image led to plenty of controversy, with the former England International’s reputation hitting an all-time low.
With BeReal’s popularity on the rise, expect to see more Footballers join the platform in the near future.