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  • Writer's pictureMélissa Cuvilliez

BeReal: What It Is & How Brands Are Using It

Okay, you know (almost) everything about Instagram, and you’ve just mastered the art of TikTok. But now you’ve been hearing more and more about… BeReal? What’s this one? Could it be good for your brand? Hang in there - in this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about one of the trendiest new apps.

On BeReal, Authenticity Is Key

Let’s start with the basics. It’s late 2020 in France, another lockdown has just begun, and rumour has it there’s a new French app that the younger generation is growing fond of. It’s called BeReal, and according to its creators, it’s “a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.” The concept is simple: every day at a different time, everyone is notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo within two minutes.

A sneak peek of our team on BeReal.

The key difference between BeReal and the big apps we already know is its authenticity. On Instagram and TikTok you curate a feed, picking specific photos or videos that you want to post and choosing when you want to post them. Content creators have been criticized for using too many filters, lying about how perfect their life is, and not being relatable enough. In a context where authenticity is key, BeReal is filling a niche.

A North America Lead Phenomenom

After a flat start in Europe, BeReal found its audience in North America during the summer of 2022. The app’s success is impressive: from 3.5 million downloads in May 2022 to 14.7 million in September 2022. According to Hootsuite, in October 2022, BeReal was the top social networking app on the App Store, having been installed roughly 29.5 million times! Pretty spectacular, right?

This impressive growth even gave Instagram some new ideas: in late August, developer Alessandro Palluzzi tweeted that they were working on “IG Candid Challenges, a feature inspired by BeReal”. But that’s not all! In September 2022, TikTok launched TikTok Now. The concept: “Post together every day at a random time”. Does that remind you of another app…?

Well, you got it: BeReal is the app to have in 2023.

How Brands Are Using BeReal

As an individual user, you can choose whether your BeReals are shared publicly or just with your friends. But as a brand, how could the app benefit you?

One of the first brands to adopt the app was a French yogurts label, Vrai. The brand’s marketing revolves around how organic and chemical-free their products are. By posting backstage photos of their production team at work, they’re telling the customers: ‘Look at us, we’re posting at random times - we have nothing to hide ’ It’s a great way to build trust and consumer confidence.

Vrai is only one of many notable brands that are using the app. As BeReal doesn’t allow formal advertising yet, Chipotle has had to get creative with their marketing on the app. In this BeReal photo, they wrote on a Chipotle bag: "First 100 people to use code FORREAL in the Chipotle app get a free entrée”. They’re giving their audience a feeling of exclusivity, making them want to be part of the “lucky ones”. Their example was followed by Pacsun and e.l.f. cosmetics, among others.

Is BeReal Here To Stay?

We know what you might be thinking: “Yes, yes, but this app is so new; what if it’s a flux?”. Well, the app has its limits for sure. Aside from some consistent technical issues that have been reported, people are questioning its core value (i.e., authenticity). If a user does not post within two minutes of receiving the daily notification, they can post a “late BeReal”. In doing so, the user can choose when and what to post, and the whole concept is then… ruined (as you can see in this hilarious video - literally still laughing over it).

But you know it by now: social media is all about being creative. And with BeReal the possibilities are endless, brands are getting out of their comfort zones, and users are happy to share spontaneous content again. So - it’s time to ⚠️BeReal⚠️.

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