BeReal is a new social platform that has quickly become the number one free app in the Apple App Store. Launched in 2020, the app has seen a 315% increase in downloads in 2022, garnering over 10 million daily users. Although this audience pales in comparison to the nearly two billion users on Facebook, it’s still a notably large accumulation of users in a short amount of time.
The platform is focused on authenticity and “being real,” which lends to the simple concept of the app. Every day at a random time, a two-minute window notification is sent at exactly the same time to all users, during which they are encouraged to take a linked front- and back-camera facing photo. After posting, friends can interact with each other’s BeReal posts via comments or a “reaction” using their front camera. The BeReal platform is seen as the anti-Instagram platform for photo sharing, as it doesn’t allow for the use of filters and focuses on the idea of spontaneity in an aim to drive more genuine, spur-of-the-moment, posts.
Who is using BeReal?
While users of all ages have downloaded the app, Gen Z (especially women A18 – 24) is using it more regularly and showing extended interest. Younger audiences are pushing away from legacy platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and are craving diversity in their social media mix. They want genuine interactions with their family, friends, peers, and themselves, which makes BeReal the perfect platform for Gen Z. With a lack of filters, BeReal allows users to display their true passions and selves.
What are the implications for brands and marketers?
Paid advertising is not available currently and, given the current user experience, launching ads would require some extensive changes—especially as there is not currently a mechanism for algorithm-driven discovery or simply following an account without adding a friend. However, that’s not to say that paid ads will never appear on BeReal. In the meantime, brands including Chipotle and E.L.F. Cosmetics are seeing early success with organic promotion, so it may make sense for others whose core audience aligns with BeReal users to jump in early and test the waters.
Is BeReal here to stay?
Early signs indicate that the app is differentiated enough from the rest of the top social players to remain relevant, especially (or potentially only) among Gen Z. For brands with strong Gen Z followings, keeping tabs on this platform, or even jumping in to participate organically, should be a consideration in your social strategy for the near term.