“Instead of seeing the world with your eyes, you’re seeing it through your phone.”
The premise of YouTuber Casey Neistat’s new social sharing app, Beme, is a familiar one: You’re at a concert, focused on trying to capture the moment so you can post it on Facebook and Instagram. But in doing so, you’re completely taken out of the moment.
Now, he can add “budding app developer” to his resumé.
“Social media is supposed to be a digital or virtual version of who we are as people,” Neistat says in an announcement video for the app. “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.”
One of the main features of Beme is that users don’t need to look at their screens to record video. Just press it against your chest; the app uses the iPhone’s proximity sensor as a record button. (The app is currently only for iOS.)
To take a selfie or vlog, you can press your iPhone up against the wall. It’s a strange, awkward behavior — how many people are willing to press their phone’s screen against a wall in the middle of a concert? — but it’s the only way for the proximity sensor to activate.
To watch a video, hold down a person’s username — like Snapchat before it eliminated the need to hold down. And just like Snapchats, moments (known as Bemes) are ephemeral; they disappear right after you view them.
“Everything you see, you see for the first time and the last time,”
“Everything you see, you see for the first time and the last time,” Neistat says in the video.
Instead of giving likes or hearts, though, like on Periscope, you can send selfies on Beme by tapping the screen — the most genuine of reactions, according to Neistat.
“Getting reactions is my favorite part of the app. Being able to capture without being forced to starre at your phone is one of the most liberating interactions I’ve done since getting [my phone].”
You can download the Beme app from the App Store, but you’ll need to get an unlock code from someone who is already set up to go.