BeReal Tattles When You Take a Screenshot

Photo:  Tada Images (Shutterstock)
Photo: Tada Images (Shutterstock)

Taking a screenshot of someone else’s BeReal appears to be a consequence-free affair. There’s zero feedback from the app, which makes it seem the same as taking a screenshot of someone’s latest Instagram post or a tweet. Unbeknownst to many BeReal users, however, the app tells on you whenever you take a screenshot. You just wouldn’t know unless it happens to you.

If someone takes a screenshot of your BeReal, you will know. Now, you won’t receive a notification or alert from the app (this isn’t Snapchat). However, when you look back at your latest BeReal after someone takes a screenshot of it, you’ll see a new icon: a square with a number in the middle, denoting the number of screenshots taken of your BeReal so far.

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You can also see the number of screenshots if you tap on your BeReal, in addition to other metrics like the number of RealMoji reactions, as well as how public your BeReal is.

If you tap on that new screenshot icon, or the screenshot metric, BeReal will explain that someone took a screenshot of your post, and presents an offer: Share your BeReal with another app, and you can see who took a screenshot. You don’t really need to share your BeReal with someone else, either. You just need to make the app think you did. Texting or emailing the BeReal to yourself is enough to reveal the name of whoever screenshotted your post.

It’s funny how BeReal decides to handle screenshots. Other apps, like Snapchat, tell you instantly when someone decides to run off with your image. But BeReal seems to be turning screenshot alerts into a growth strategy: The company wants you to share your BeReal with other people whenever someone takes a screenshot of your post, which raises the chances of new users flocking to the platform.

That said, it’s a weird strategy, considering you don’t actually have to share your post with anyone other than yourself, which defeats the purpose for the company. But in addition, BeReal doesn’t market this part of the app much at all. Someone needs to screenshot your BeReal before you ever know this feature exists, and, even then, the icon used is so subtle it’s easy to overlook.

I, for one, am not cool enough to have had someone else take a screenshot of one of my posts. I only learned about this feature from this TikTok that came across my feed. It’s not present in the app’s privacy policy or terms of service (I checked), meaning you’ll only find out if someone screenshots your post, or from a PSA such as this TikTok or the article you’re reading right now.

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