BeReal reached #1 free app in the app store
Social Media Platforms

BeReal reached #1 free app in the app store

Shannice Baynes
Shannice Baynes
Are digital users seeking authenticity? 

BeReal reached #1 spot in the best of the App Stores ‘Free App’ category in July, surpassing social media giants Instagram and TikTok. But what is the reason for this BeReal breakthrough, and why are users seeking a more ‘candid’ approach to social media?

BeReal: How it Works

The app launched in January 2020 and was founded by French developer Alexis Barreyat. The app has since taken the Gen Z social media scene by storm with an outlet for users to showcase their authentic selves and candid moments. 

Each day, users receive a ‘time to be real’ notification with a two-minute time limit to take both a front and rear-facing photo, which has become a daily ritual among friendship groups. There is also a feature to publish  posts after this two-minute time frame, but these are subsequently marked as ‘late’ to keep with the collective aim of encouraging people to live in the moment. 

The BeReal Breakthrough

The purpose behind the platform is to encourage users to move away from today’s ‘scroll culture’ and “to enjoy real life” as stated by the BeReal website. Developers also insist that the app is not a pathway to social fame in comparison to TikTok and Instagram. 

Despite the contrast to typical social outlets, BeReal reached the #no1 spot in the App Store’s free apps list and has been installed 7.67M times during the last two years. Growth has spiked dramatically since its launch due to heavy exposure on TikTok and being the focus of various internet memes. 

Furthermore, Instagram users’ recent dissent towards the app’s update and plans to move towards a video-heavy platform has left people seeking a space that allows them to feel connected with their friends and to interact with authentic content. BeReal’s simple functionality and purpose may be the answer.

How are other platforms responding

In response to this shift in consumer demands, Instagram have recently launched their dual camera feature to encourage more ‘real-life’ content. However, this new feature still allows users to be in control, with the additional options of filters, timing and stickers - posing the question; is this just another version of Instagram Stories?

BeReal and the Influencer Economy

One thing that is certain is that community authenticity is pioneering among all digital marketing efforts. How influencers and content creators will interact with this trend will impact their overall audience engagement. Despite BeReal being marked as ‘anti-Instagram’, there is still an uphill battle for a long-term reigning position within the social media industry. 

Creators cannot currently monetise content published on the app due to the brand’s values of not being a pathway to 'influencer fame'. However, there is a lesson to be learnt from this rising social success. Engaging with your audience on a more personal level is championing. Successful creators such as Emma Chamberlin and Matilda Djerf are renowned as the ‘photo-dump queens of Instagram’ for sharing unfiltered moments of their lives and engaging on a more personal level with their audiences. It’s clear to see that this aesthetic is popular, and creators should continue to keep this in mind!

The future of BeReal and its impact on the influencer economy is one to watch. Stay up to date with more industry news over on our socials.

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