What is BeReal. ? An Advertiser’s View on the Latest Social Trend
With every trend, the pendulum swings. BeReal. is the exact pendulum swing that vibes with something we’ve all been craving — an experience that is simple, direct, and to put quite bluntly — R E A L.
This app is a simple as it gets.
Here’s the 1-minute debrief
Every day, one alert randomly comes through at the same time for every user. You have two minutes to post a photo at that time. If you miss it, no worries, do it when you can. Just know you can’t see your friend’s photos until you post your own photo. There are no filters. There are no videos. There is no audio. It is a photo only — with one catch. The camera takes a photo from the front and the back, creating a really neat dynamic of what you see too. The photo can’t change once posted. It is one and done — you do not post multiple more throughout the day. There is a “Discovery section” but not quite worthy of scrolling through unless simple life really excites you.
Implications for marketers
As a marketer, you likely will not touch this one anytime soon unless you have an influencer base. Possibly due to its infancy or due to its ethos, there currently are no ads. And honestly, I think a lot of people would bounce out if ads were filling the experience. It’s too quick of a digestible consumption model to want to engage for an extended period of time, or honestly to return once you’ve seen your friend’s posts. This is definitely not the 1-hour TikTok scroll marathon of an app where brands have been thriving very well.
A brand would need to consider if you have one representative from the company to be that personality to show what happens behind the scenes or throughout the day. Even then, there is no guarantee that the BeReal. timing will happen during the day — it can be when you wake up, late at night, and on weekends. Personalities who are the product (chefs, writers, artists, celebrities) would need to be quite comfortable actually being real. There also isn’t anything wrong in delaying a post if you’re at a location that you don’t want to share publicly. There’s not much to hide behind in this experience; which for some will be a great key to connecting with their audience.
Here are a few in-depth brand examples, which are sparse as of today:
- Glossy: K18, e.l.f. and Inn Beauty Project are paving the way for brands on BeReal
- The Drum: Chipotle gets candid with the anti-filter social media app BeReal
Why pay attention
We’re coming to the longevity phase of social media. For many, social media has had a grip for over 20 years, and for Gen Z coming of age, their entire life experience has had social media underpinnings. We’re tired. The desire to keep up. Remembering to capture a thing. To post a thing. Of being interesting. Of getting dopamine hits to stupid heart signals. If BeReal. has taught me one thing, we all live incredibly normal lives. We all sit on the couch more often than not, we all do unglamorous tasks on the weekend, and we all have terrible bed head in the mornings. Could this be a cure? We’ve forgotten what normal life looks like considering we consume apps for hours that tell us otherwise.
Gen Z is driving our future forward. This generation desires real, raw, and relatable. Marketers are already turning away from influencers who use filters (the UK is outright banning it) and content is swinging in the best way to “normal” aesthetics instead of the over stylized. The pressing question… how long will BeReal last? Will it become too basic of a task for brains that are used to mundane scrolling of stimulating content? We’ll check back in next year.