Casey Neistat, a short-film video artist and a social media preacher, takes an attempt to build a better social networking app, called ‘Beme’ — pronounced “beam”. He feels there’s a gap between what our actual life is, and how we portray ourselves on the social media, and Beme is what fills that gap.
Neistat believes social media should be a digital or virtual version of who we are as people. “Instead it’s this highly sculpted, calculated, calibrated version of who we are, told through filters that make our eyes bluer and carefully selected images to portray a version of who we are that doesn’t really resemble the reality of things,” he says in his launching video for Beme.
Instead of seeing the world with our eyes, we see it through our phone screens, thus losing interest in actually living that moment. In Beme, to click a picture or record a video, all you need to do is stick the phone to your chest, and Beme takes care of the rest. The app uses iPhone’s proximity sensors for most of the tasks including taking selfies, or recording videos.
It can post a video of maximum 4 seconds, which the people in your social circle can see only once, and then it’s gone. Everything on Beme can be seen only once, bringing it much closer to reality.
Neistat and his colleagues took a year to develop this app, and it was released this Friday. They have tried to keep the app simple, not including tons of useless features – as an attempt to make you feel like you’re taking a peek under the hood.
For instance, in Livetext, the conversation begins with the sender’s message, and as soon as the receiver sees the message, the sender immediately gets the view of his camera in a silent, GIF-like video. The reactions are the favorite part of Neistat, as you can see the actual reactions of people when they look at your posts.
The app gives the feel of command prompts in the earlier days. There are no emoticons, hearts, or thumbs-up buttons, the only reaction you can give is your own, through selfies. Taking selfies also have a weird and unconventional method; you need to stick your phone to the wall, and it clicks and posts automatically.
The app is only available on iOS for iPhone users currently. Neistat seems cool about the success of the app and has no worry about competitors with already substantial user bases. He believes the authenticity of the concept of Beme is enough to lead to success.