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Beme is a clever new social app that strives for authenticity

by Brandon Russell | July 17, 2015July 17, 2015 7:00 pm PDT

How accurately does your online persona match the real you? We’ve become so preoccupied with creating carefully crafted images of ourselves, that it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s fake. A new social media app, Beme (pronounced “beam”), is trying to break down that wall by being the bastion of authenticity.

Rather than giving people another platform to create carefully curated phony personalities, Beme is an app that aims to redefine how you and I are presented online. Unfiltered, un-edited, just you. And while the premise of the app might recall memories of early Snapchat, Beme’s take on communication is a breath of fresh air.

As demonstrated in the announcement video above, Beme rebuffs the traditional method of recording video in favor of something different. Instead of pressing a record button, just bring the phone to your chest, and Beme will do the work for you. It’s a clever alternative, and is designed to keep your device from interrupting the moment. You’ll no longer need to hold the phone in front of you, frame your shot, and hit record.

“We wanted you to keep staring at the sunset,” said Casey Neistat, a popular YouTube personality, and founder of Beme. “We wanted you to keep watching the rock concert, while still letting you share.”

Beme works by taking advantage of a phone’s proximity sensor. Just cover that up, and the app will record a four-second clip. Everything you record is automatically posted, which means you don’t have time to think about how it looks and whether the lighting was just right; just capture, post, and continue to live in that moment.

What’s particularly neat about Beme is how people can respond to videos people post. When you watch a friend’s Beme, you can send an instant reaction in the form of a selfie. Once you watch a Beme—you do so by holding your finger down, like the old Snapchat—it’s gone forever, an ephemeral moment sucked away into the vastness of space.

Once you sign up (it’s invite-only for now), you can add friends, or you can add complete strangers. The app will show you a randomized list of “interesting” people to follow, people from all around the world. In that regard, there seems to be an emphasis on discovering other “bemers,” which is a nice touch.

I’ve added a few people already, though it’s unclear how I can actually watch their Bemes. So far I just see a small list of strangers filling my feed, but perhaps I’m just doing it wrong. In any case, Beme looks like a clever way to break down the curated nonsense of social media, and share honestly. Whether people actually want to do that remains to be seen, though the data on usage could make for an interesting social study.

Beme is currently available for iOS, and is invite-only for now; anyone who does get a code to sign up can then send out a code to a friend, and so on and so forth.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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