BeReal: Fad or Fantastic?
Another day and another social media network hoping to be the next big thing. BeReal is currently ranking as no #1 of free apps on the UK App Store and has gained huge popularity over the past 6 months.
So, let’s take a deep dive into how the app works and what people are saying about it!
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a simple photo-sharing app that allows you to share a moment of your day, once a day, with your friends and if you chose, the rest of BeReal. Every day at a different time BeReal users will receive a notification on their phones, in which you have 2 minutes to capture what you are up to and post. One of BeReals stand out features is that both the front and back camera of your device are used simultaneously, so your friends get to see a front (usually a selfie) and back (whatever is in front of your camera) view.
Another catch to the app is that, until you post your BeReal, you can’t see anyone else’s posts either. Which almost forces you to get involved and post (genius?)
Unlike other Social Media platforms, BeReal boasts no ads, no filters, no likes (although you can react to posts) and no followers, but you can add people as friends.
Who’s behind it?
Founder and CEO Alexis Barreyat, former employee of GoPro, is the creator behind the app which was originally released in France in 2020. After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it gained popularity rapidly in early and mid-2022.
According to wikipedia, “Because of its daily cycle of engagement, it has been compared to Wordle, which gained popularity earlier in 2022.BeReal has been described as designed to compete with Instagram, while simultaneously de-emphasising social media addiction and overuse. The app does not allow any photo filters or other editing, and has no advertising or follower counts. Marketing material from the company warned that the app “can be addictive” but also stated that “BeReal won’t make you famous.”
Niloufar Haidari, writer for the guardian, shared:
Is it for businesses?
If you consider the app’s features and practicality for business, the answer would be no. Although small businesses may see a benefit in possibly being discovered by millions across the world. I doubt businesses will ever be able to run paid advertising through BeReal or monetise their brand in any way at all.
Currently, fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing are using BeReal to show off events, work trips, photoshoots and days around the office. Which is great for keeping their online audience up to date. However, the ‘authenticity’ seems to be lost with brands using the app, as the content is very much curated to fit the work day.
Similarly, we have seen many TikTok’s of people waiting around whilst doing ‘cool’ photo-worthy things, in the hopes of getting their BeReal notification – surely this defeats the point of the app?
What do people think?
FB Comms founder Fiona has been trialling the app for a few months and likes the idea and concept of the app, however, doesn’t see the point in sharing her ‘Real’ moments on there when only six of her friends are using the app.
General reviews online seem to have similar issues with the app itself, it’s likely a lot of development work needs to be done to improve the experience for the users.
" My Instagram output may be curated rather than created under hostage-like circumstances, but ultimately it feels more authentic to me than a photo of my forehead and a half-eaten salad. "
So, what do you think? Fad or fantastic?
Let us know over on LinkedIn!