BeReal is the latest trending social media app that’s skyrocketing in the download charts, capturing Gen Z’s attention, and giving the world’s mobile-first generation a new way to connect throughout the day.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is marketed as a more authentic social media app. Once a day at a different time, users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo in 2 minutes. It’s a completely new and unique way for users to discover who their friends really are in their daily life.
How is it different to other social media platforms?
As you only have a 2-minute window in which to capture and upload a photo, it encourages users to not over-think what they post, unlike Instagram where users can take hours to capture and edit the ‘perfect’ photo. It gives a more realistic insight into the lives of others, as everyone is showing exactly what they’re doing in real-time. Users on Instagram have started to try and be more authentic with Instagram photo dumps increasing in popularity, however they’re still curated to a certain extent.
How does BeReal work?
Once notified, users will have a 2-minute window to capture what they’re doing. You can upload a photo after these 2 minutes if you miss the window, however, followers will be informed that it wasn’t posted in real-time. There are no filters or photo editing functionalities within the app, and users are encouraged to use the app to connect with friends rather than trying to gain followers.
As an extra push towards authenticity, photos are taken from the phones front and back cameras at the same time. Also, users are not able to view other friends’ photos until they’ve uploaded their own, this forces them to participate daily instead of lurking online. It’s interesting from the apps side, as this means that users must engage with the platform to be a part of it.
There are no likes, however, users can comment and leave ‘RealMoji’ reaction pictures below their friends’ posts.
How many people are using BeReal?
BeReal launched in 2020 in France and started gaining interest last year, with nearly four million downloads on Google Play and the App Store between January 2021 and February 2022.
The app’s popularity has skyrocketed in 2022 as it has taken off in American universities, with nearly two million downloads in January and February alone.
BeReal has started sponsoring college parties in the US, offering free admission to attendees that download the app and add five friends. This isn’t a random number that they have chosen, but they found that users need at least five friends on the app to encourage them to use it.
What’s next for BeReal?
It’s worlds apart from the likes of Instagram with its heavily curated feeds full of aesthetic photos, and TikTok which regularly has videos going viral and receiving millions of views. Social media has become a far cry from real life, and people are craving authenticity and relatability, and BeReal is doing a great job at capturing that.
Its unique selling point of authenticity has been trending and increasing in popularity on social media over the past couple of years, they’ve tapped into the desire for people to express their real lives, on a platform where they feel comfortable sharing.
The challenge BeReal will now face is to make the platform interesting enough to return to daily, as generally, apps with just one feature tend to become a trend that quickly passes. However, as with all social media platforms, they will learn and adjust their functionalities and features as needed to keep users engaged and loyal to the platform. They’ve already mentioned that video content will soon be available.
If the popularity of the app continues to grow, we could see other social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok trying to replicate these unique features.
What does this show about the direction marketing is moving in?
It proves just how users are craving authenticity, and it’s an important factor that you can implement within your digital marketing strategies. Authenticity can help you stand out in an otherwise loud market, and it’s increasingly becoming a key factor for consumers when deciding what brands they like and support.
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