The Discovery feed on BeReal was always a throwaway feature. No one really cares about the daily life activities of strangers. Most people would just check out what their friends had posted and ignore the Discovery feed altogether because the main draw of BeReal is to see what is happening right now in the lives of people you know.
This week the company removed the Discovery feed, which was a collection of BeReal posts that people had made available to the public, and added a “Friends of Friends” feed instead. Now you have two choices when browsing through BeReal photos. You can see a feed of your friend’s posts, or you can look at the feed of the friends of your friends.
This makes the feed a little more personal in the fact that perhaps your friend might show up in one of those images, or you may see places or other people you recognize. It also makes it less likely you would come across something inappropriate since the feed isn’t just open to the public like it was previously.
In order to view this new Friends of Friends feed you have to allow your BeReals to also be viewed by Friends of Friends.
If you decide to change your privacy settings, you have to do it for all of your BeReals. You can’t just choose to share one particular day to the Friends of Friends feed. However, you can change the setting back to just friends at any time. You just need to go to the settings in your BeReal app, and toggle the “connect your friends” in the Privacy settings to “off”.
BeReal is a social media app that gained a lot of popularity last year but has since been dropping significantly in ranking among teens. The app sends a prompt to everyone at the same time to post their “BeReal” which is a photo that shows images from your front and back camera at the same time to show everyone what you are doing at that moment.
You have 2 minutes to post your BeReal after the notification comes through to post in the window and gain the ability to post additional images throughout the day. If you don’t get to it in the 2 minutes though, you can still post a photo, it will just show everyone that you posted late.
You are not allowed to see your friends BeReal’s until you post your own though. This is a great way to make sure everyone posts their own photos so you can see your friend’s images.
This new setting makes an already very safe app for kids even safer. BeReal currently does not have private messaging, ads, or an algorithm for kids to get sucked into. Although the company has been testing out a direct message feature in some countries, it is currently not a feature for most profiles, and none in the United States.
Since there is no algorithm, most kids will just post their own BeReal, view all of their friend’s photos and then hop off the app. There is no incentive to stick around the app for too long, which again makes it a great social media app for kids to start out on.
While BeReal is a great way for kids to start out on social media, most of the reasons other apps make money is through ads or creating ways to keep people on their app for longer. While BeReal continues to add various features to attract more users, I’m not sure they will be able to overcome the limitations that make them great for kids without adding features that will make it not so safe for kids. We will see what they continue to add and reserve judgment for now, but I don’t see them being around for a long time. So enjoy it while it lasts!