Meet BeReal, the newest, most authentic, image-based social media platform. Unlike other social media platforms, where posts are often heavily edited, BeReal doesn’t contain a multitude of aesthetically pleasing content or meticulously curated feeds. On BeReal, you won’t see advertisements, sponsored posts, or “up-and-coming” influencers who post five times a day and somehow have thousands of followers. Seems kind of meh, right? That’s the point!
How BeReal Works
BeReal users receive a notification each day at an unpredictable time. Today it may appear at 5pm, tomorrow it may appear at 11am, but all users receive it simultaneously. Once you open the notification, you have a two-minute window to take a picture of yourself, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Both your front and back camera will snap a photo once you’re ready, capturing content both of your face and what you’re looking at. Your account can be set to public or private. The point of BeReal’s posting mechanism is so users can feel they’re posting authenticity, or more simply put, be real.
You can react to posts using a RealMoji, which is essentially a selfie reaction. For example, if someone posts a funny BeReal, you may snap a photo of yourself looking like you are laughing. Friends are able to interact with each other through these RealMojis as well as comment on one another’s photos.
So, what’s the hype around this seemingly minimalistic app? Gen Z and millennials have lived in a constant state of social pressure since Facebook and Instagram were first released over a decade ago, pressure to prove to friends, family, and followers that they live a perfect life. After Facebook and Twitter came Instagram, then Snapchat, then TikTok, and so on. These apps have been providing users around the world 24/7 access to unrealistic lifestyles, relationships, body image, you name it! With a single, unedited, spontaneous photo each day, BeReal offers people a look into their friends’ daily lives. Without the expensive clothes, tropical vacations, and photoshopped faces, users of BeReal have come to realize just how “not real” social media is these days.
BeReal has surpassed 7.6 million downloads this year thus far, so brands are quickly trying to learn the best way to get in on the action. Chipotle took a leap of faith and decided to join in on the hype surrounding the app. After Chipotle created an account, they posted a reusable promo code where the first 100 people to use it would earn a free entree. They soon realized BeReal has the potential to be a great platform for future promos and increasing brand awareness.
Many users and nonusers are skeptical about BeReal and what it has to offer. Some critics believe this new app is simply a “passing fad” and will quickly lose the attention of Gen Z given its mundane feel. It’s also possible that another social media giant will copy BeReal’s features and take over, much like Twitter Spaces did for Clubhouse and Instagram Stories did for Snapchat. Time will tell whether the app continues to be successful, and what the future holds for brands on it, but for now, we’re enjoying our unfiltered selves.
By Brynn Grover, Junior Marketing Associate Intern—Brynn is a summer intern on our Integrated Marketing Strategy Team, which helps our clients strategically connect the dots between all things marketing—creative, paid digital, PR, influencer, social media platforms, and products, etc. Streetsense offers internships in a variety of areas including Marketing, Brand, and Design for rising college seniors and recent grads.