During the summer of 2022, BeReal became the hottest topic in the social media world. Adoption was high and daily usage numbers spiked over 315%. Although its popularity was undeniable, a lack of innovation and development over time has seen usage numbers decline. As the trend continues, it’s becoming more and more clear the demise of BeReal is now in full force.
What is BeReal?
The app was introduced with just one simple concept; capture a single snippet of your day at a specific time. At a random time each day, users receive a notification to “BeReal and see what your friends are up to”. User’s follow the notification where they have two minutes to capture what they’re doing in that exact moment. Should a user miss this notification, their post is time stamped applying a time penalty on public display. The concept was simple and seemed to create a real buzz!
Reasons for Success
With being the fastest growing social media platform in 2022, we ask the question why? The answer can be attributed to several things but all link to a buzzword we hear a lot, authenticity. The intent behind the platform is to allow Gen Z to keep in touch authentically, without filters or focusing on likes. Its main differentiation to other platforms was that BeReal didn’t focus on curated photos or highlight reel. It was real life. The app made people feel comforted in the fact that their friends’ lives weren’t as fun or picture perfect as their Instagram made it out to be, it was authentic.
This concept is something that caught the attention of BeReal’s competitors Instagram and TikTok. Since BeReal’s launch both have been seen in desperate scrambles to produce similar offerings. For Instagram this came in the form of a dual camera feature, something that never really took off. Tiktok responded with a feature called TikTok Now in an attempt to eliminate the competition. The feature has been lightly adopted since launch, especially compared to Instagram’s version, however, the both weren’t enough to completely irradicate BeReal just yet.
The Demise of BeReal
Whilst BeReal was an exciting concept, the daily ritual was the real appeal here. Multiple users expressed attraction to its habitual nature. As time went on people realised there was no penalty taking the BeReal outside of the two minute window. Arguably, this is where the demise of BeReal began. Instead of the notification being exciting, it began to highlight the monotony of day to day life. Users soon realised there are very few moments that you want to share to social media every single day.
As a user of BeReal I find myself waiting for an exciting moment in my day to take my picture. This is where it loses its authenticity and becomes more curated just like its competitor, Instagram. There is also the issue of waiting and hoping for that notification when you’re actually up to something fun, a feeling a colleague’s children have expressed.
With daily users slipping by 61% since September, the demise of BeReal is now in full force. Whilst the app was exciting at first, there have been no innovations made to the platform, resulting in boredom around the original concept. From a marketeer’s perspective the initial success of BeReal was a hope for another marketing platform with people holding out hope for advertising opportunities to arise, a concept that never developed!
So with people getting bored of the app, marketeers losing hope for any advertising opportunities, and the platform losing its sole purpose, are we seeing the demise of BeReal? The simple answer is yes, the proof is in the stats and the decline in daily users. However, to try and prove it isn’t just a passing fad, BeReal is considering the introduction of paid features. Maybe a last attempt to stay relevant? With discussions around in-app purchases including the ability to upload multiple photos a day, will the demise of BeReal continue or will they manage to stay afloat another year? With the habitual nature of the app, users may find it hard to let go but with no developments on the cards, I think we will be forgetting this app pretty soon.