February 20, 2023

How To Use BeReal: The Surging Social App That Just Hit 10 Million Daily Users

How To Use BeReal: The Surging Social App That Just Hit 10 Million Daily Users

Have you heard of BeReal yet? The surging social media app was launched in 2020 and has been dubbed the ‘anti-Instagram’. Why? It encourages users to post unpolished, real-life scenarios of their life as opposed to the glamorised, filter-covered content that we often see on other social media apps.

Already on BeReal? You’re not alone! In a recent update from the French startup, the app has now reached up to 10 million daily users. This is an incredible surge from the 10,000 users reported no more than a year ago.

Let’s take a look at what BeReal actually is, how it works, and what it might mean for your marketing efforts in the future if the app continues its current growth trajectory.

What is BeReal?

BeReal is a photo-sharing social media app available on iOS and Android devices that is similar to the early stages of Instagram. However, the unique aspect of the app is that it only allows its users to post one photo a day in a very small timeframe. The idea behind this method is to focus on authenticity as opposed to other apps which are notorious for users glamorising their life through their highly edited content.

How does it work?

While it can be perceived as confusing, the entire mantra around BeReal is to simplify social media and make it more authentic and less addictive.

The key feature of BeReal is that users are only allowed to post once a day, within a random two-minute window. Users will receive a notification saying ‘It’s time to BeReal’ which allows them to post a photo of whatever they are doing within that moment. No editing, just an authentic moment.

When posting a BeReal, the app snaps the scenery from both your front and back camera, to give your followers an insight into how you look and where you are. Once posted, the app will reveal to your followers exactly how many times you retook the photo before posting.

The app has no filters or edit buttons and does not allow videos. You can comment on a friend's post or react with a RealMoji, which is an emoji that is coupled with a selfie mimicking the reaction you have chosen.

Why is BeReal gaining so much popularity?

How many times have you heard the phrase “Instagram is just a person’s highlight reel”? It would seem people have been craving a more realistic and intimate social media platform that gives actual insights into their friends' lives, not just the best bits. There is potential for this app to also uncover the day-to-day lives of their favourite celebrities and influencers or even see the BTS from their favourite companies. BeReal looks to be the authentic version of what social media was originally intended for.

With limited posting capabilities, it also is far less addictive than other apps, as you can only post/see new posts once per day.

Do we think BeReal has a future amongst the top social media apps?

Early indications would suggest that they have hit a niche that many people are very interested in. However, it seems the big players have already got the new app on their radar. Platforms including Instagram and Snapchat are already looking to introduce features to replicate BeReal's functions, including the two-way camera capture along with Instagram’s new ‘candid’ feature which is reportedly in the works.

It is hard to say if BeReal can become strong enough to fight off the competition before they are overrun by it. TikTok and Snapchat have proved it is possible to survive and compete with the big guns (for now), but we also need to remember the many other similar apps have been absorbed by the likes of Meta in the past, so the next 6-12 months will be interesting to see if BeReal is ForReal.

How can you use BeReal in your marketing strategy?

At this point in time, there are no paid advertising capabilities on BeReal, and the app’s mantra of being authentic could make it tricky for them to introduce this in the future. However, one would imagine they are going to need to either find a way to get ads on there or introduce a subscription-based fee for users to maintain a sustainable business model once they move away from investors. Best to just keep your eye on how this one progresses in the coming months, but this doesn’t mean staying away from the platform until then.

Many businesses have already started to get creative with the way they are using the new app. Companies like e.l.f. Beauty has used its BeReal posts to give followers a sneak peek of new products, while American fast food restaurant Chipotle is using it to share exclusive promotional codes.

Think of it as more of an experimental, organic phase in your marketing strategy for now. Start to build a following and find out what content works and what doesn’t. You might find it is very different to what you have seen success with on other platforms, so best to do some testing while we all wait to see if or when paid advertising is introduced!

Sam King

Sam King

Digital Marketing Manager

The Facebook Ads expert at SMC and brings 5 years of experience specialising in Social Media Marketing and Strategy. He's orchestrated major campaigns in education, sports, events, and eCommerce, seamlessly aligning digital marketing strategies across sectors for maximum impact.

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