Photography marketing

Is BeReal losing its point?

When he first appeared, Be real seemed like a breath of fresh air among all this social media filled with filtered faces, staged lives and fake smiles. This app was dubbed “anti-Instagram” because its goal was to share the authentic and unstaged moments of their lives with users.

But is BeReal losing its point just months after its launch? I have a few thoughts on this, and I believe there are two main reasons why this app might fail before it even takes off properly.

Even though BeReal was released in 2020, it didn’t gain popularity until early 2022. And once it did, it went fast. People got sick of Instagram and its attempts to look like TikTok. Users were looking for something new, fresh and different to share their life with and peek into the lives of others. Real lives…or so it seemed.

Enter BeReal, the app that does just that: lets you share your authentic moments as they happen, without filters, endless posing and reshooting 34 times before it’s perfect. You get a prompt, click the notification, and you have two minutes to take the photo of the day. The idea is cool, it’s simple, and perhaps most importantly – it’s new. So people flocked to the new app… Just so they could make it another Instagram. Wait what?

People use BeReal like Instagram

As I mentioned, the main idea of ​​BeReal is to send you a prompt that it’s “time to be real”. You’ll see a notification on your phone, and when you click on it, the front and back cameras will open, allowing you to take a picture of what you’re doing at that specific moment. But there is a catch.

Once the notification is displayed, you don’t need to click on it right away or within a specific time frame. You can wait all day before doing it… Or at least wait to put on your makeup. Or pretend you’re doing something more fun than watching Better Call Saul alone in the dark (what’s more fun than that?).

It was like people were finally realizing that life wasn’t as glamorous as it seemed on Instagram. But instead of embracing that fact, they’ve started using BeReal’s prompts not when the app sends them, but when they can show off a more “polite” and staged moment in their lives.

The growing popularity of BeReal

I think it’s safe to say that BeReal’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past two months. As Influencer Marketing Center reports, the app’s monthly active users grew by more than 300% in 2022. It recently ranked first in the list of free iPhone apps, fourth in social media download, and tenth in social media platforms most downloaded. And if I, a regular Jane, have access to those stats, guess who else has it? That’s right, the two biggest social media platforms: TikTok and Instagram.

Instagram and TikTok want to “be real”

Shortly after the success of BeReal, Instagram introduced its Dual camera function. If you’ve followed Instagram’s development as long as I have, then you know that most of its “breakthrough new features” are copies of successful features seen in other apps. There was Snapchat, there was (and still is) TikTok, and now there’s BeReal. Just like the “anti-Instagram”, Instagram now also allows you to take a picture of your surroundings and yourself at the same time, in real time. It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it?

Instagram’s biggest competitor, TikTok, didn’t wait long to introduce its own version of BeReal, Dual Camera, or whatever we’ll call that feature. It’s called TikTok Now, and yes, it does absolutely the same thing. You get a prompt, open your camera and take a picture of yourself and everything you’re doing at any given time. There’s only one difference – TikTok Now also lets you take a short video, not just still photos. But who knows, maybe BeReal will now copy TikTok and add this option to the app. It would be a fun plot.

So, is BeReal losing its point?

It hasn’t been long since BeReal became popular, and we already have two mainstream social media apps copying its key feature. So, is BeReal still the “anti-Instagram” and “anti-social” app if major social apps use the same feature? I am not sure. For me, everything loses a point here.

However, what makes BeReal even more useless is the fact that people use it like Instagram (as much as the app allows). Indeed, many users really try to avoid the fakeness of social media, especially Instagram. And yet, BeReal is now swarming with those who strive to portray themselves and their lives as more glamorous than they are.

Are there any solutions to bring BeReal back to life?

I used BeReal for about a month and a half to try it out, and I have some thoughts about it that I might share in a future post. But when it comes to “being real”, I think there is a good solution to make BeReal real again. It’s quite simple – the quick notification shouldn’t stay on your phone all day.

Once you receive the notification, BeReal should give you a very specific (and short) time limit to click on it and take the photo. Let’s say you hear the notification and you have ten minutes to take the photo, plus those two minutes once you open the cameras. That way there will be less wiggle room to fake our lives like we do on Instagram. If you receive the notification during a super private moment or if you don’t hear it in time… Well, you’ll have another chance tomorrow. It doesn’t matter, really.

I personally believe that the idea and concept of BeReal is great. However, if it is to last, the team behind should really make some changes and make users be real. They won’t be able to stop Instagram, TikTok and anyone else from copying the features and giving them different names. But if BeReal truly offers a different and more authentic experience than other networks, it will be here to stay.