A new social platform has entered the scene and has become popular with Gen Z audiences in the past year: BeReal. Hear from our Strategic Services team about what the app is offering its users, why Gen Z is drawn to it, and what brands can learn from its popularity.
BeReal empowers users to show their most authentic selves
BeReal was created in 2020 in response to the so-called, fake social media landscape and is hailed for its “anti-Instagram” ethos. The app implements a time limit on posts such that users have 2 minutes to share a genuine version of what they are up to. BeReal strives to create a unique way to share experiences with friends as they are in their daily life, with no ads.
BeReal embraces authenticity through a multitude of factors including not having filters, pushing users to post the mundane times in life, not having likes, having a lack of curation, no ads, and no paid influencer content.
BeReal sends a notification to users to take a picture using their back and front camera at the same time with a location and optional caption - there is a 2 minute countdown to do so. There are no likes and dislikes, but users may comment on posts. If a user wants to give a reaction to a post, they would use a “RealMoji,” which is a picture of their own face. Additionally, users can look back at a calendar of their past posts to see their lives day-by-day at a glance. BeReal has pulled ahead against other apps trying to get Gen Z’s attention by empowering the user’s not to overthink what they post. This app has become an antidote to the pressures of young users to be creative and look perfect online.
BeReal Traction Gained:
Downloads for BeReal are up ~315% this year
BeReal has been installed 7.41 million times since its invention in 2020
As of April 2022, BeReal is the 10th most popular social media app in the United States on the Apple App Store
By encouraging users to only post content once a day at specific times, there is no need for users to continue looking at the platform throughout the day. Although this is an intentional goal, it creates a lack of need for the platform. This attributes to users not abandoning their other social media apps for BeReal.
Sourced from: BeReal
Platforms are embracing a casual feed
BeReal users share randomly timed posts, Instagram users have popularized a casual feed with carousel posts of everyday activities and TikTokers are regularly showing mundane, “day in my life” videos. Additionally, the use of “realmojis” and a lack of filters in BeReal is a significant draw to social audiences who have become fatigued with content being “overworked” and highly edited.
How can brands align with BeReal’s success?
Should brands join BeReal? Well… maybe, but it would be challenging. In terms of reception to joining the app, BeReal originally pushed hard for a platform with no ads and no brands. However, brands like Chipotle have joined the BeReal users. The overwhelming sentiment of Chipotle joining BeReal was positive, especially when users discovered that following the Chipotle account would give them access to a discount code.
This will be a challenging platform for brands to upkeep because, as of April 2022, joining the app requires users to grant following access to each individual account requested and there is no way for brands to have their content set ahead of time. Because of BeReal’s alert system, the social media manager would need to be available and ready at all times to post. Additionally, there is a risk of backlash in joining a platform that is praised for its lack of brand activations.
The following types of brands could do well on BeReal:
Health and Wellness (LuluLemon, Nike, Outdoor Voices, Fitbit)
Food and Bev (Ben and Jerry’s, Wendy’s, Heinz, Domino’s, Dunkin' Donuts)
Retail (Target, Build-a-Bear, Barnes and Noble, The LEGO store)
💡Through sharing screen break reminders and self-care themed content, brands have an opportunity to empower their users by supporting their overall well-being. Because this is a valued attribute sought after in brands, this could help better position brands in an ever scrutinized market.
73% of Americans care more about self-care than they did in 2019. BeReal’s focus of spending less time scrolling on apps is a manifestation of this statistic. TikTok has also incorporated in-app messages to remind users to take breaks from the app when “doom-scrolling.”
💡Increase the ratio of simplistic and low lift content. Gen Z is often unimpressed by overproduced and highly edited graphics/photos, take this opportunity to help brands lean into content that is simple and reflective of what a community member would send to a friend. This easy going tactic is drawing in a significant audience, users love seeing “ugly” and carefree feeds.
💡Play around with incorporating a sense of urgency for your brand's community. BeReal’s use of a time requirement energizes its users and gets them to act quickly.
Examples: You have 6 hours to vote on your favorite picture for us to set as our profile, our secret sauce recipe will only be up for 45 minutes until we delete it, you have until 3 pm to tag us in your Earth Day themed picture for a chance to be reposted by us, we will be posting a riddle between 2-4pm, the first to guess it correctly wins.
Let’s be real about this…
Only time will tell if BeReal is here to stay, but for now, it is a strong indicator of how strong trends of simplicity and authenticity currently stand. Brands should continue to keep a pulse on channel development and evaluate opportunities that align with their strategies.
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