There are over 3 million apps (and counting!) available for consumers to download every day. We’re a tech-y bunch, with the average smartphone user spending around 818 minutes in-app weekly. 20% of this time is spent on social media platforms. At this point in the digital world, you really need to be offering something special for it to take off and for users to be interested. BeReal is the latest app to explode in such a short period of time. The last time this happened was with TikTok back in 2018. So, what is it about BeReal that has hooked almost 43.3 million users?
In today’s blog, we will talk about what BeReal is, our thoughts, and what we discovered as a team after downloading the app.
No filters allowed
Even though it’s only recently burst onto the scene, BeReal was actually founded in 2020 by a former French GoPro employee.
In 2022 people started using this app as it offered something unique: a social media platform that focused on authenticity and the mundane parts of life. In a social media world full of overproduced and aspirational content, it offered an insight into the more realistic aspects of life.
BeReal didn’t offer any fancy new technology or filters. Still, it found a way to stand out from the crowd by encouraging users to post unedited and raw glimpses of their day-to-day life during a two-minute window every day. The beauty of it is that you never know when the notification will pop up as it is constantly changing. You also can’t see what your friends have posted without sharing your own post (front-facing and back-facing camera simultaneously).
The BeReal case study
None of our team members had BeReal, so we decided that there was no better way to learn about a new platform than trialling it out and being part of the trend! We had most of the team at the office download and use the app every day when the notification instructed us (like clockwork!)
Here are some of our findings.
Eloise was not vibing with the “Gen Z-only” app, but shortly after, she realised that everyone could enjoy BeReal!
“I think this app successfully represents what Gen Z is all about – no filters and casual images that are not to be taken seriously. It’s informal, fun and wholesome and I love looking back at previous BeReals we’ve taken as a team. I will keep using it!”
Steph was also hesitant to download the novelty app; however, after a little while, she grew to enjoy it
“I wasn’t all that keen on downloading another app; however, I quickly grew to love it! What I love about BeReal is that it is more authentic, which is a nice change from all the filters!”
Ella loved the concept of BeReal. However, the BeReal users were a let-down for her as they were not following the ‘authentic and in the moment’ mantra of the App.
“I found it an exciting, authentic way to interact with friends. Although it wore off pretty quickly for me, as I felt the population in general on this app tended to wait till an ‘exciting’ moment to capture their BeReal rather than when the timer went off. I found this lost focus on the purpose of the app.”
And finally, Ellie’s thoughts will take us to the longevity of this app.
“The thrill has worn off a bit for me now. Unlike TikTok, I feel as though there isn’t much there to keep me interested in long-term use, but you never know. I’m unsure why Gen. Z like it – they are a mystery to me – but I’m glad that the need for heavily filtered/edited images is fading out.”
Will it last?
Let’s be honest – we tend to get sceptical whenever a new app builds hype. In previous years, a bunch of apps that have gone viral, like Vero and Clubhouse, have seen outstanding growth but haven’t lasted long while trying to compete with powerhouse social apps like Instagram and TikTok.
As we said before, BeReal has almost 50 million users, but according to the research done in 2022’s third quarter, BeReal only saw a daily open rate of 9%. To put this in perspective, Instagram’s open rate is 39%, and Tiktok’s is 29%. At this point, the question is, are BeReal users already getting bored of the platform? Will one of the powerhouse social apps replicate its features and do it better? Or will their attempts of recreating such a different format not be “authentic enough” that users reject it?
BeReal found a gap in the (saturated) social media market, and its popularity is still growing. At this point, we can only wait and see whether this climb remains in its course or decays through the competition.
Social media – especially new apps – can be fun and addictive. However, once an app takes off, it’s common for businesses and app creators to start putting together a profit strategy. It would be naive to believe that there is no profit intended to be made from the users. By now, we all know that the social media giants evolved from purely organic to having paid advertisements as their biggest revenue stream.
It makes us start to wonder how BeReal will evolve. Will influencers start drifting towards this platform as a new opportunity? What about brands? These days with authenticity and transparency being very influential in the eye of the consumer, will brands start creating “Brand” BeReal accounts? BeReal has been operating off a $30 million fund by Andreessen Horowitz – one of the biggest venture capital firms – for the last two years. What’s going to happen after that? Where will the money come from? Guess we’ll have to wait and see!
We know one thing for sure – BeReal is all about being in the moment and not glamorising day-to-day life, which is altering the entire social media formula that the latest generations were born in and grew up with it. How do you think the BeReal formula will change people’s social media behaviour? Send us a DM on Instagram and let us know what you think, or follow us to stay up to date.