What is BeReal: Get to Know the New Social Media Platform

    October 17 2022

    By now, you've probably heard about the new up-and-coming social media platform called BeReal. BeReal is a new photo-sharing app created by Alex Barreyat. Alex Barreyat, a former GoPro employee, released BeReal in 2020. However, it wasn't until mid-2022 that it gained popularity—becoming the 4th most downloaded app, with downloads increasing 315% since January 2022.

    BeReal jumped to popularity when social media started shifting from static posts to video, making it stand out from many prominent social media platforms as one of the only photo-sharing apps. 

    In this blog post, we will discuss how BeReal works, who primarily uses it, and how marketers or business owners can incorporate BeReal's ethos into their content strategy. 

    What is BeReal & How BeReal Works 

    It may sometimes feel like we have too many social media platforms. But without new apps, like BeReal, and before that Clubhouse, coming forward, we might never see the change we'd like to see on social media. Apps like BeReal and Clubhouse provide a solution to what some users believe other platforms have lost sight of. For example, BeReal takes away video content as a whole (something many users struggle with on social media) and makes it all about users sharing static posts from their daily life.

    BeReal is also the opposite of Instagram and TikTok due to its lack of features. Without many features, it allows users the time and energy to post and make it through their feeds without the chance of doom scrolling. Here's how it works: 

    • How to Post: BeReal prompts all its users simultaneously to post with an "it's time to post" notification. Each post notification is at a different time every day. 
    • When to Post: After you get the "it's time to post" notification, users have two minutes to post, or it's considered a late post. 
    • What to Post:: Whatever you are doing the moment you get the post notification. The camera takes a front and back view picture. 
    • Who can see BeReal posts: To see what other people's BeReal posts are, you have to post first.

    Now that you have a lowdown on how to use BeReal, it's clear that it is very different from what we know about social media today. It's more about connection and naturally limits a user's screen time because most people post within the "it's time to post" window or not long after. It's also just a simple way to keep up with your friends, much like how Snapchat and Instagram Stories used to work. 

    Why BeReal Works 

    BeReal not only takes a gamified approach to social media, but it is one of the only photo-sharing social apps today. It also is centered on authenticity and social media screen time boundaries, for now at least. Since video content came on the scene, social media apps prioritized video content over static posts. Social media algorithms favoring video content over other posts have received much attention and criticism, which is why BeReal couldn't have come at a better time. 

    Users were ready for something more personal and not so saturated with brands and popular creators. Although BeReal has a "Discovery" tab where you can explore people's posts worldwide, the platform centers around your close network of friends and families. Many users list their friends on BeRealnot being more than 50-100 people. You can compare BeReal to the old days of Snapchat, when it was about directly communicating with friends via Snaps or when Instagram first created its "Close Friends" Stories. There's an increasing need and desire to have a more private outlet to communicate and connect with your closest network of friends, not just people you follow just to follow. The lack of brands and creators on BeReal is unique compared to TikTok and Instagram, which house a lot of popular creators and brands. Brands and creators on social media aren't bad and lead to a lot of education and inspiration, but it is one-way BeReal can set itself apart from big platforms. 

    Who Uses BeReal 

    BeReal is popular among younger audiences, primarily Generation Z, due to its unfiltered posts and seemingly more authentic look at people's "day in the life." The app also naturally sets a few social media boundaries by not allowing people to see other people's posts unless they post and limiting everyone to one post a day. Since there's not an influx of posts coming in at all times of day, there's no reason to keep refreshing your feed like you would Instagram or TikTok. This is a refreshing and simple way to keep up with your friends while staying off social media as much as possible. 

    Since BeReal became popular, Instagram and TikTok have even created BeReal-like features. You can access the Instagram BeReal-like feature via Instagram Stories and TikTok Now.

    Will BeReal Last 

    It's too early to say how BeReal will do long-term— whether it's a trendy phenomenon or if it's here for the long haul. One thing is sure: people are growing frustrated with big social media platforms trying to compete with one another. It's okay to provide users with different experiences, making using the platform exciting and accessible to what they're interested in. However, it's tricky to strike a balance between wanting to keep up with the way the social media industry and what users genuinely value. 

    How to Add BeReal into Your Content Strategy

    The beauty of BeReal is that it's free of brand advertisements and sponsored posts, so joining the platform as a brand wouldn't be worth your time.Here's where you can start for brands or businesses wanting to add BeReal to their content strategy: 

    #1 Share Your BeReal Posts as a PhotoDump or Carousel

    Have employees take BeReals while in the office, on a zoom call, or doing something interesting for your brand to get in the action. Followers love to see day in their lives/behind-the-scenes content about their favorite brands. 

    #2 Create Authentic Content

    Users love authenticity, especially younger audiences. Stay true to your brand and let that shine through in your content. Your followers will trust you because you aren't trying to be anything you're not. 

    We hope you learned more about the platform that's taken younger audiences by storm and can incorporate some of its attributes into your social media content strategy. 

    Learn more about Carrie Boswell, on PLANOLY

    Carrie Boswell

    Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

    More by Carrie Boswell

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