Are we ready for the unfiltered world of Beme?
Are we ready for the unfiltered world of Beme?
A view from Camilla Hayselden-Ashby

Do we really want to embrace Beme's unedited reality?

Despite the huge buzz Beme has generated with its launch, Camilla Hayselden-Ashby, strategist at Wunderman UK says we aren't ready to show the 'beans on...

We are the Anna Wintours of our online lives. And many of those lives are so airbrushed they bear a closer resemblance to the pages of Vogue than the offline reality

Robert Louis Stevenson once said: "There is but one art – to omit". The art of editing used to be confined to the publishing and film world. Now we all practice it every day, in some shape or form, as we share our experiences online. We are the Anna Wintours of our online lives. And many of those lives are so airbrushed they bear a closer resemblance to the pages of Vogue than the offline reality.

The makers of the new video sharing app Beme want us to break with the trend for the curated self. With Beme you share a post by holding your phone to your chest and this activates the camera and begins filming a short video, which is automatically posted. There’s no option to edit or even see your video before it goes off into the ether. People can view the video once only and they can respond by sharing snaps of themselves as they watch it. Instead of interrupting what you are doing to get the perfect shot, add filters and a witty caption, you just shoot and share a video without so much as casting an eye over it.

I suspect most of us are happier presenting a filtered, glamorous version of our lives, rather than showing the world the significantly less exciting ‘baked beans on toast in front of an episode of Bargain Hunt’ reality

Beme is the brainchild of YouTube star Casey Neistet who bills it as an alternative to the mainstream social networks which he says trade in a "highly sculpted, calculated, calibrated" version of who we are. He and co-founder Matt Hackett, formerly of Tumblr, present a formidable power couple. On paper Beme neatly brings together some key tech trends. It has Snapchat’s casual ‘in the moment’ sharing, tools to help document your life more easily, such as the Narrative Clip wearable camera, and it lets you spend less time looking at screens. It has generated a huge amount of hype so far and should be applauded for a masterful launch strategy.

But are we really ready to ‘Share video. Honestly’, as Beme’s strapline urges? Is our unfiltered, unedited everyday reality that palatable or interesting to anyone? You could argue that removing the ability to edit and curate also takes away the art, the fun and much of the point of sharing stuff online.  I suspect most of us are happier presenting a filtered, glamorous version of our lives, rather than showing the world the significantly less exciting ‘baked beans on toast in front of an episode of Bargain Hunt’ reality.