BeReal: can the new social be useful for businesses?


A new social network that differs completely from the others, BeReal, has been gaining popularity among users in recent weeks. In fact, the French-born app, which bills itself as “the social of authenticity” because of its lack of filters and likes, has become the most downloaded app in the United States, bypassing TikTok and reaching 30 million users worldwide.

But to what is this sudden success due? Can BeReal be a new marketing resource for companies? In the very article you are about to read, we will try to answer these questions.

BeReal: what is it and how does the “authenticity” social work?

Born in France in 2019 from the mind of Alexis Barrevat under the slogan “Your Friends For Real.” BeReal is an application available for iOS and Android that offers a completely different type of social network from those most popular to date: daily and immediate sharing of authentic photos for the purpose of inviting users to “be real.”

In fact, this app stipulates that at a specific time of day, which is different from day to day, the app broadcasts a notification to all users asking them to take and share a photo showing what they are doing within 2 minutes. To give a complete picture of the situation, moreover, the app creates a photo that combines the front camera shot with the back camera shot, giving a picture of the person taking the photo and the context in which he or she is standing.

Unlike other apps, it does not leave the user free to take and post the photos they want and possibly edit it with filters or other tools, forcing them to be as real as possible. Moreover, it is impossible to view your friends’ posts without publishing your own, and the posts vanish the moment the next day’s notification arrives.

With BeReal, the way users interact also changes: first, it is not possible to view the number of followers of other users; second, there are no likes, but only Real Emojis, i.e., reactions consisting of selfies that the user takes of himself.

BeReal’s global success

BeReal has succeeded in a now nearly saturated market by going out of its way to upend the traditional dynamics of social networks, countering that ideal of spectacular lives prevalent on other platforms.

Founded in 2019, however, the app only boomed this year: in January it recorded its first million downloads And today it would exceed 30 million Of users.
Also very relevant is the figure of daily active users on the platform: from 2 million at the beginning of the year, we have increased to an average of 10 million in recent weeks.

In the United States, BeReal achieved the highest number of downloads with a share amounting to 2,702,000. Right behind, France and the United Kingdom, where it still far exceeded 1 million users. Data that led the company to be valued at about $600 million.

In Italy, the figure is significantly lower, with only 127,000 downloads, yet remaining in line with the rest of the European markets.

Can BeReal be useful for companies?

As we said, to date, BeReal has about 10 million daily active users: an interesting figure that, however, when compared to the numbers of Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, is really a derisory number.

In addition, we have to consider that the application does not contain any platform for publishing advertisements: this implies that businesses that wanted to use it for their marketing strategy would simply have to use it as normal users.

In the app’s terms of use, it states that it “prohibits the use of the platform for advertising or commercial purposes, restricting solicitations, spam, pyramid schemes or the retrieval of information, data and content about users without their permission.”
It is clear, then, that the social network aims to maintain a certain credibility of the concept, which could no longer boast of being a “real” social if it was reduced to a bulletin board of ads.

In short, at this point it is fair to ask whether, with these assumptions, BeReal is fertile ground for brands or whether wanting to be everywhere at any cost is just a stretch. In addition, one must ask how it is possible to structure a viable communication strategy on a platform that excludes the possibility of implementation and does not provide for the production of advertising content.

The Chipotle Case

An interesting case in this regard is Chipotle, a U.S. restaurant chain specializing in Mexican cuisine that is also present in Canada, Great Britain, Germany and France.

The franchise posted a photo depicting an employee and a Chipotle billboard in Times Square to promote the campaign Buy the dip. Eat the dip. In addition, the brand has begun using the platform by promoting discount codes available for only a minute: the first hundred customers who manage to download them have the opportunity to receive a free gift in the chain’s restaurants.

Other companies are simply using the app by posting content that mostly shows the behind-the-scenes of their daily activities.

BeReal for companies: does it make sense in Italy?

As our analysis shows, the real limitation of brands in undertaking a communication strategy on BeReal is the platform itself.

If the app’s functionality remains limited to the mere instant posting of one photo a day, there is a very high risk that it will quickly become simply boring after an initial period of enthusiasm, just as happened with Clubhouse in 2020.

Then we must consider the competition: Instagram and TikTok are already preparing to introduce a mechanism similar to that of BeReal, and could therefore immediately turn off interest in the app.

Finally, let us consider that Italy represents a market where this social does not enjoy such a large number of downloads that brands think they can communicate on this platform as well.

For these reasons, it is recommended to rely on a qualified agency such as Spada Media Group, which can assess your brand’s needs and recommend the social channel-in general, Instagram remains the ideal channel-and the communication style best suited to your strategy and business goals.

If you need more information or would like to receive a free consultation from our social media managers, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

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