No likes, no influencers, no edits. This is the foundation of the recently popularized app, BeReal, which had over 2.9 million active daily users as of April 2022 and whose monthly active users grew 315% YTD, according to Apptopia. Imagine casual Instagram, or what it wants to be anyways, and you'll have an idea of what BeReal is.
So, what is BeReal, why is it important, and does it fit into the world of advertising? Let's dive in.
What is BeReal?
If you're not already familiar with the app, BeReal is yet another photo-sharing app that has gained increasing popularity, mainly just in the last few months. In its raw form, BeReal pushes a notification each day to users' phones saying it's ˜Time to BeReal' with a CTA to capture their BeReal for the day. Users can then go on to the app and capture what they're doing at that exact moment in the 2 minutes timespan (from both front and back cameras). The notification is sent out at a different time each day, with the ultimate purpose of encouraging authenticity through randomization. Users can then see their friends' posts only once they post a BeReal of their own.
Spoiler Alert - Nothing truly happens if you don't post within this two minute timespan, other than the app will notify your friends that you've posted late.
Similar to other social media platforms, the app consists of a feed of photos filled with content from the user's friends, where they can then view and interact in several ways. Although there is no 'like' feature, users can add a caption to their own photos, comment on their friend's posts as well as react with an instant 'Realmoji', which is basically a small photo taken in the moment that will then appear on their friend's post for the day.
Other features of the app include a Discovery Page, comparable to the 'Explore Page' on Instagram, where users can discover other users they aren't familiar with. A Memories feature is also included on the user's profile, which only they can view, showing all of their previous BeReal posts.
BeReal is meant for exactly that, for users to be real. No likes, no influencers, no editing. The app's purpose is to encourage users to engage in social media without the pressure of likes, followers, or getting the 'perfect picture.' The sole interaction is just between friends with the added twist of taking a photo on the spot, giving users an insight to their friends' everyday life.
Who is Using BeReal?
The app has taken college campuses by storm. Given, BeReal has a college ambassador program, but it's working. Word-of-mouth on college campuses is a force to be reckoned with, and it's exactly how BeReal has climbed its way up the ladder this year.
The majority of users are Gen Z and college students, and the growth in this demographic continues. The app is pushed at the young demographic and will most likely continue in that direction.
Will Brands Make Their Way to BeReal?
Will this be an app for brands to pursue? With the Discovery Page feature, the potential for users to view brand accounts is there, or even with an addition to the app, such as a Follow button, users could follow their favorite brands and see what they're up to - Real time.
This could be an opportunity for brands to amplify their personality and realness to their audience. Show behind-the-scenes footage of what it's like to work for the brand, sneak peeks at new merch, or other snippets of content they see fit.
On the flip side, will brands flop if they try to create a presence on BeReal? After all, there is no (current) advertising available, and the app may stay as a 'no BS' app for users to have an alternative photo-sharing experience strictly between their friends.
If brands decide to enter the world of BeReal, we believe it will have to be a specific type, or brands with the right agenda. Brands will have to decide if they're ready to blast their company in a real, authentic, on-the-spot way for their audience to see.
Will The Concept of BeReal, Be an Influence?
Whether or not brands make it to the platform, will other social media apps decide BeReal did something? A few things we could see happening in the near future:
- Instagram Stories: Push notifications. Whether this feature is timed or not, Instagram could utilize the idea of push notifications encouraging their users to share what they're doing via Instagram Stories.
- TikTok Stories: Another new feature that may catch on to the BeReal concept. We could envision users, especially influencers, being excited about a TikTok story feature where they're to post within a certain time frame. This could create more buzz on their platforms and keep users engaged with both the app and their favorite influencers.
New apps are like clockwork, it just depends how long the clock will stay ticking. Will BeReal stay around or is this another fad that will quickly fade out when the next new app comes into play?