As a platform that strips away the artificiality of user-generated content, insisting on real people in real, unstaged situations, BeReal represents a welcome breath of fresh air among social media apps. As such, it may seem it has forced TikTok’s hand into creating what appears to be an identical feature, called TikTok Now. This move makes us think of a time when TikTok, the social media disruptor, basically forced Instagram, YouTube and Facebook into introducing short-form video scrolling. Is the same thing – only vice versa – happening now? Who has the upper hand here: BeReal or TikTok? And how do the two compare? Let’s find out.
What Is BeReal?
Just as its name suggests, BeReal is an app that aims to encourage people to be their true selves, instead of posing in intricate, staged videos.
The way it works is rather simple: each day, at a random and previously unspecified time, the app sends a notification to all users prompting them to take a photo of themselves and their surroundings. The users have two minutes to take the photo, after which the window closes and if they don’t use it, they miss their chance for the day. They can post late, but in that case there will be a timestamp so that everyone can see they didn’t post right away.
The app uses both the front and the back camera, making sure both the creator and their surroundings are recorded. There are no filters and no follower counts.
The content can be viewed using two separate feeds – My Friends and Discovery. However, in order to access either of these feeds, you first have to post your own photo.
With its daily cycle, the app aims to reduce the social media overuse, as the users don’t have much reason to spend a lot of time on the platform.
Although the platform was launched back in 2020, BeReal skyrocketed to popularity in mid-2022. As soon as that happened, TikTok made sure to match BeReal’s appeal with its own feature called TikTok Now.
What Is TikTok Now?
TikTok Now is the app’s latest venture, launched in September 2022. Marketed as a “daily photo and video experience,” this feature prompts the users, once a day, to take a photo or a 10-second video of themselves, for which both the front and the back camera are used. The post can then be shared with the followers and currently does not have a discovery option.
On paper, TikTok Now was released as a cool new way to share content, which fosters “authentic and spontaneous connections on TikTok.” Since the posts can only be shared with friends (followers), TikTok Now is designed to help users connect and be closer to each other, in simple, humble, everyday situations.
Still, one can’t help but feel that the real reason for introducing this feature was to make sure TikTok stays competitive. Considering BeReal’s rise in popularity, the social media giant simply cannot risk staying behind.
BeReal vs TikTok Now – How Do They Compare?
Obviously, BeReal and TikTok have more than a few similarities. In fact, one seems to be an almost exact copy of the other. But, there are some differences.
- Content type: In BeReal, you can only post photos. With TikTok now, in addition to photos, you can also take a 10-second video.
- Window for posting: BeReal gives you a two-minute window to figure out what you want to post once prompted, while in TikTok Now you get three minutes.
- Camera type: In both cases, your content will be captured using both your front and your back camera.
- Notifications: Both BeReal and TikTok Now send you notifications once per day, prompting you to take a photo (or, with TikTok Now, a photo or a video). In BeReal, the notification says “Time to Be Real” and in TikTog you get “Time to Now.” Both use emojis before and after this text – BeReal uses an exclamation point and TikTok Now uses a lighting bolt.
- Sharing: This is where the two apps differ significantly. In BeReal, you can share it to your friends or send it to the Discovery feed where other users (especially friends of your friends) can see it. With TikTok Now, only your friends get to see your content.
- Interactions: BeReal has one very interesting feature in this department, and one that TikTok Now did not replicate: the RealMojis. These are basically likes or reacts, except in addition to the emoji, they also feature the picture of the person reacting – imitating that particular emoji: giving thumbs up, frowning, making an angry face, and so on. The RealMojis can be saved for use on future posts, or can be used as instant reactions on just one post.
- Monetization: BeReal offers no monetization options. TikTok Now is a feature of a larger platform that does offer a number of ways to earn money in the creator economy.
- Availability: BeReal can be downloaded and used as an app anywhere in the world. TikTok Now, on the other hand, is available as a TikTok in-built feature only in the United States. Elsewhere, it works as a standalone app that needs to be installed separately.
Wrapping It Up
Whatever the future has in store for BeReal and TikTok Now, it’s clear that, at least at the moment, the two can exist side by side. BeReal remains the go-to platform for unpretentious, spontaneous content sharing for those who don’t like or don’t use TikTok; while TikTok Now caters to the audience that likes the feature but also prefers remaining within the ecosystem of the platform.
If you have any questions on how you can use BeReal or TikTok Now to grow your brand or increase your reach, contact us today. We’ve got a dedicated team of experts who will be happy to answer any of your questions and guide you through the process.