YouTube star Casey Neistat wants us all to get real.
The filmmaker’s new app, Beme, is his attempt to create a social media platform that allows users to share moments in real time, without fixating on their phones and editing posts to death. Beme essentially takes the core values of Snapchat and presents a bare-bones version of it, stripping away the ability to review your posts or add filters and commentary.
“There’s nothing cute or twee about it,” Neistat told the New York Times. “We want you to feel like you’re taking a peek under the hood.”
In other words, don’t look to Beme to help you perfect your selfie game: The app gives users a limited set of tools, allowing them to send four-second video clips (called bemes, of course) that disappear once viewed. While watching a friend’s beme, you can shoot them a real-time reaction selfie before the video ends.
Neistat wanted the app to be less intrusive, which means you can create bemes simply by holding your iPhone to your chest. The app takes advantage of a sensor found above the earpiece of the phone, which enables it to start recording and automatically send videos once finished. If you’re at a concert, for example, you don’t have to take your eyes off the performance to share the experience with friends on Beme.
The app’s interface is just as clutter-free as its functionality, presenting a list of your friends in a muted gray color palette. Much like viewing Stories on Snapchat, all you do is hold down on their name to watch their bemes.
It’s no surprise that Beme shares some DNA with Snapchat. Last year, Neistat talked to Fast Company about why the ephemeral messaging app is an exciting platform for storytelling: