Friday, May 13, 2022

Is BeReal the Next Big Social Media Deal?

“Time to BeReal.”

Every day, millions of people get this notification and stop what they are doing to snap a pic of what they are doing at that moment before the two-minute BeReal timer runs out. BeReal enables users to post a picture of both the front and rear cameras to show what they are doing and how they look while doing it. And if you miss the two minute window? No worries, BeReal will let you post late, in fact you have to if you want to scroll through your feed for the day. All of these hoops are an effort BeReal has implemented to reclaim realistic experiences on social media compared to the other social media apps which are more focused on aesthetics. 

If you haven’t heard of BeReal, don’t feel left out. The app’s growing user base is primarily made up of college students, a result of BeReal’s blitz on college campuses. The strategy has paid off for the app, in a matter of weeks I went from never having heard of it to knowing more than 100 people using the app regularly. I have been using it for about three weeks, and I’ve enjoyed my friends’ posts. With many of my close friends graduating this past week, the BeReal app has already proven a great way to keep in touch with those who aren’t as close in distance. While scrolling through friends posts you can leave a comment, or even a RealMoji, which is what the app calls a picture reaction where you aim to mimic your favorite emojis. It may not sound like much, but it’s a nice way to stay connected.

What do marketers need to know about BeReal? 

BeReal is avoiding monetization in efforts to gain as many users as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of the user experience. This means that there isn’t a way that marketers can tap into the app’s growing audience just yet. However, with $30 million in investor funding, the app likely won’t keep revenue closed off for too long. BeReal currently has two paths to monetization. The first, you are familiar with, the app could insert promotional posts just like Instagram or Twitter. The second involves a feature that BeReal has implemented which prompts users to complete a special challenge by themselves or with friends. The idea is that companies could sponsor these challenges as a more creative way to get in front of users.  

It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages that would come with either of these advertising approaches. First, BeReal’s push for authenticity has kept users more engaged than Instagram or Facebook. This could be a great tool for marketers looking to increase personalized engagement, however users might find advertisements as an affront to the authenticity that brought them to the app in the first place. Meanwhile promoted challenges feel like a fun way to engage audiences but may come at a much higher price tag to involve that many users. This decision may not be crucial yet for the app as it continues to gain a user base, but it is essential to stay in front of social media trends.