Launched in 2020, BeReal seeks to build a social network that brings people together by encouraging them to spontaneously and authentically share images. Every day at a random time, BeReal notifies users to capture and share a photo within two minutes. The app also has a dual-camera feature that captures an image of the user while simultaneously capturing an image of the user's surroundings.

"Its unique and innovative approach to social networking utilizes various psychological methods which increase product retention while delivering a more 'positive' social experience," said Ghimire. "BeReal sends one notification a day at a random time, which allows a two-minute window to take a picture – a high-arousal, variable interval style of reinforcement which encourages daily use without the potential for addiction.”

In her research, Ghimire, who’s from Chitwan, Nepal, surveyed her peers and found that BeReal had the most positive psychological effects among all the other social media platforms. She explained that unlike other apps, BeReal doesn't offer filters, so it appears to be much more authentic to users. 

This feature reduces the likelihood of "Snapchat Dysmorphia," which refers to body and face dysmorphia triggered by the extensive range of editing tools available on other apps, such as Snapchat.

"The main motive of the research was to demonstrate how BeReal does a better job helping people feel more confident in their real face and help decrease social media addiction as compared to other apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok," said Ghimire.

Ghimire compiled her research in an extensive literature review and presented her findings at USD’s 2023 IdeaFest. She hopes to continue her research by surveying people about their opinions of BeReal and how it compares to other social media platforms.

After graduation, Ghimire hopes to design and develop tools for disease diagnosis and treatment, specifically cancer and nervous system diseases.

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