BeReal is a new social media app that prompts users once a day to post an unfiltered ‘dual camera’ picture within 2 minutes. Once the user has posted, they can view their friends’ BeReal posts for the day, which vanish 24 hours after the prompt, mirroring Snapchat or Instagram Stories. Within the past year, BeReal has surged from 10,000 daily active users to over 10 million.
BeReal is a French social media app created by former GoPro employee, Alexis Berreyat. When he created it in his bedroom in mid-2020, he had no idea millions of people around the world would actively use BeReal on a daily basis. The app saw its usage soar when a brand ambassador program launched on college campuses in April 2022. Since the ambassador program, BeReal has risen to twenty-three million global downloads with over 1/3 of these within the U.S.
BeReal has captured the attention of Gen Z, who make up more than 55% of users. With Gen Z being the generation most likely to report mental health concerns BeReal stands out among its competitors with intentional features designed for a more positive and authentic experience. Minimal scrolling time, no planning required and no usage of filters all contribute to a social media environment more conducive to positive mental health.
Influencers should also be warned that their presence isn’t as welcome on BeReal as other platforms. As stated on the BeReal website, “BeReal won’t make you famous, if you want to become an influencer you can stay on TikTok and Instagram.” Users of BeReal are ecstatic to turn to a social media app that forces you to be genuine and show an intimate shot of a user’s day-to-day. The presence of influencers, whose posts and lifestyles can feel all but authentic, are counterintuitive to the very mission of what BeReal is trying to achieve.
Another unique aspect of this app is the ‘dual camera’ feature where the front and back camera on your phone are captured simultaneously and both used within your post. Given its popularity with the user base, competitors have taken quick notice, with Snapchat implementing a similar feature as of August 29th. Snapchat’s feature will include filters, stickers and lenses, however, straying away from the original intent and usage of the functionality within BeReal.
BeReal’s imminent growth in the U.S. is something that cannot be ignored, especially for brands focused on Gen Z. While it currently does not have any pay-to-play advertising options, brands and agencies should continue to monitor the platform usage and evaluate traditional, organic opportunities.
So how are brands using it? In April 2022, Chipotle leaned into BeReal’s ethos of transparency and found a unique way to promote the brand and gain users’ attention. Chipotle created an account like the millions of other users within the app and waited for the iconic ⚠️ Time to BeReal. ⚠️ notification. Within the 2-minute period, the Chipotle account snapped their first BeReal promoting the code ‘ForReal’ to score a free entrée for the first one hundred users. Not only did the promo code succeed in the first 30 minutes of being live for 4 consecutive days, but the Chipotle BeReal also gained 2,000+ friends.
The key to advertising on BeReal is to stay authentic and have a strategic plan before diving in. Due to the unpredictable nature of the daily notification, brands must be ready to activate without looking like the stereotypical ad and explore exceptions to their brand guidelines to offer more flexibility to true lifestyle imagery. Storytelling and giving people a look behind the curtain for the brand can help gain awareness with new users and reward loyal brand followers. If brands can determine what story they would like to authentically share, BeReal is a great new app to engage users for free.
Empower will be closely following paid opportunities as usage grows and the platform expands. We remain excited about the platform’s potential and mission to make our social feeds a more real place.