BeReal, an “anti-Instagram” photo-sharing app, not only challenges the performative culture of social media but also revolutionizes the very concept of ‘archives.’ By employing the technical walkthrough method grounded in software studies, this research found that BeReal can be conceptualized as an anarchive that consists of diverse storytellers, decentralized micro-narratives, and interdependent contexts. More specifically, although some classical archival elements can be found in BeReal, the platform challenges the traditional archival industry in two ways: one, its ordinary record subjects and high level of accessibility shatter the centralization of traditional archives; two, it challenges the humanist value of archivists by shifting the authority of appraisal from archivists to algorithms. Lastly, BeReal's unique qualities as a social media platform, including its one-second, one-post limitation and focus on personal memories rather than influencer marketing, transform the social media archival practice into a more meaningful and authentic experience, emphasizing the importance of genuine human experiences and emotions over commercialization.
"From Archive to Anarchive: How BeReal Challenges Traditional Archival Concepts and Transforms Social Media Archival Practices,"
Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 10, Article 9.
Available at: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas/vol10/iss1/9