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What does the Rise of the BeReal app mean for business?

The fastest-growing app of the moment is one you may not have heard of - BeReal.

BeReal's monthly active users have increased from 921,000 in July 2021 to 21.6 million in July 2022.

Just shy of three million people access the app daily.

What is BeReal?

BeReal is a photo-sharing app with a difference. Unlike Instagram, the app sends a notification to users at a random time of the day, saying "Time to Be Real".

Users then have 2 minutes to take and post a picture of what they are currently doing.

The aim is to capture unfiltered, unedited snapshots of users' lives. The images are taken with BOTH front and back cameras.

Post outside the 2 minutes, or re-take the image, and the app tells those you're connected with that you were a bit naughty.

Do you like a post someone's done? There are no 'like' buttons - instead, you can react by taking a photo of yourself mimicking the emoji or emotion you want.

What does the rise of BeReal mean for social media?

The word 'authenticity' is more popular now than ever on social media.

This is in part a reaction to filtered, staged or overly-produced content of Instagram, and in part to the rise of TikTok - the majority of which is filled with unrehearsed or somewhat 'organic' content.

For businesses using social media it shows that people still want to see more genuine content, so behind-the-scenes, or 'on-the-job' content will always be popular.

If you can combine that authenticity with providing value, then you're on to a winner in terms of content.

Is BeReal here to stay?

The demand for authenticity won't go away.

Already, Instagram itself has responded by trialing a new "Candid Challenge" feature - an opt-in replica of BeReal's "you have 2-minutes to take a picture".

But will BeReal last?

We think not, unless it changes some of its founding principles and can cope with the 'big boys' mimicking its features.

The initial novelty factor of seeing what your friends are really up to will only hold interest for so long - and when that goes, the app may have to change.

But its principle - more authenticity, less polish -that WILL stick around - and businesses who embrace that will do well.

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