BeReal: Social Gets Authentic

25/07/2022

Since its launch in 2020, BeReal has become the hottest new app to hit our smartphones. It relieves the typical pressures that social media users face daily with its main goal to be authentic and ‘real’. Life isn’t as perfect as it may always appear and users are looking for raw, unfiltered content not only from celebrities and influencers but also from their friends. We decided to do some research and check out the app for ourselves…

What is BeReal?

The name of the popular Gen Z app speaks for itself, it’s all about being real! It’s a great way for friends to stay connected and up to date on each others lives without having to talk everyday.

Once a day users are sent a notification prompting them to take a photo within two minutes of receiving the notification. It will take a picture using the front and the back camera so you see what the person is doing and where they are. Things are kept real by giving the user limited time so they cannot think about what they are doing which adds to its authenticity.

The momentum of the app has increased massively since it started its ambassador programme in US Colleges and its Rep programme in High Schools with a spike in downloads by 315% since the beginning of 2022.

@bereal

Why is this not viral in the UK yet? #fyp #london #uk

♬ Head vs. Heart - kyo

The app has some cool features that can be used to interact with friends’ posts. Users can comment on each other’s posts and live react with ‘RealMojis’. Realmojis are photos taken live and posted directly on your friend’s post. So if you see something that made you lol, why not live react with a photo of you laughing in real time?

Another feature worth mentioning is that it will store all of your memories into a calendar. This is similar to Instagrams archives but if you are keeping up to date with your BeReals, by the end of the year you will have a 12 month time capsule of every single day of the year and what you were doing. Whether you were chilling out on the couch or at the top of a mountain, it’s a nice way of reminiscing on your memories throughout the year.

How does it compare to other apps?

When Instagram first hit the scene back in 2010, it was used in a similar way to BeReal. Users would use the platform for fun and to post random pictures throughout their day. Now, there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for mundane daily life pics. Instead of Instagramming places we visit, we now seek Instagrammable places.

BeReal’s intention is to encourage users to ‘be real’. This will only be successful if people are using the app as intended and not waiting for the most exciting part of their day before they post. Despite this we think that anyone who downloads the app is interested in showing their real self but only time will tell!

Online Presence 

As well as growing massively through promotions in US colleges, BeReal has been loud on TikTok, hitting 215.7k followers and over 5 million likes in just over 6 months of being an active user.

Just like the app itself, their approach to their TikTok content is no different; it’s real and unfiltered. They share videos of how the app is used, its benefits and even the struggles of it (like when you’re in a cool place and you still haven’t received your BeReal notification!).

@bereal

Quick reminder that insta only shows the brightest parts of our lives🖤 #fyp #bereal

♬ brazil - grace™️

BeReal style videos have even become their own trend on TikTok with users taking to the app to share their BeReal moments as one entire clip. 

So What Does This Mean For Brands? 

Currently there are very few brands taking advantage of the platform as it doesn’t offer a media buying feature, however American  fast food chain, Chipotle experimented with its first campaign aimed at boosting their profile. It posted a reusable promo code where the first 100 people who used it would get a free entree – all of which sold out in about 30 minutes. The platform also allows brands to interact with its audience in a more authentic manner – if it’s done correctly. Our guess is that we will continue to see brands experiment on the app until the right recipe is created, watch this space.

The Future of BeReal

While the app might be a hit for Gen Z, it’s unclear what the future holds. At the moment, the reaction from users is that they’re enjoying the authentic wave and seeing what their friends are doing on a random Tuesday at 11.23am. On a final note, if you decide to download the app, don’t forget to ⚠️BeReal!⚠️

– Fia O’Brien

The Verve Experience Podcast

Verve is an agency celebrating 30 years at the top of the events, experiential and marketing industries. This podcast pulls from that wealth of experience, giving key insights from the past, tips for the future, and everything in between.

You can listen to all of  The Verve Experience episodes here: https://audioboom.com/channels/5045240

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