We need to talk about BeReal, the latest trending social app that’s quickly rising up the download charts – i.e. the latest functionality that’s set to be replicated by Instagram and/or Facebook any time soon.
BeReal, as the name suggests, is focused on real, authentic connection, an un-edited view on social sharing, designed to help people take a step away from the overly curated feeds of other apps.
As explained by BeReal:
“BeReal is the simplest photo sharing app to share once a day your real life in photo with friends. Every day at a different time, everyone captures a photo within 2 minutes. Capture and post in time to discover what your Friends are up to.”
How it works is that, once a day, users are prompted to share an image of what they’re up to, and they have 2 minutes to share their response. The app takes photos using the front and reverse cameras, so you see not only what the person is doing, but where they are as well, and the time limit restricts your capacity to stage and edit shots, keeping things, well, real.
It’s a simple process, and it’s clearly catching on, with downloads of the app increasing some 315% since the beginning of the year, according to Apptopia.
As you can see, BeReal’s momentum is increasing, and while we’re only talking about the low millions right now (BeReal has been installed 7.41 million times to date), that chart is on a sharp incline, which points to the desire for more honest, raw depictions of people’s real life experiences, away from the airbrushed, edited, background warped photos that have become the norm in many of the top apps.
According to additional data from data.ai (formerly App Annie), BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
“BeReal skews heavily Gen Z in France, with over 80% of its iPhone user base aged 16-24 as of Feb 2022 and Gen Z 180% more likely to use the app. Headquartered in France, BeReal has gained traction with French users, making up 30% of its historical downloads. However, the app is catching on outside of its home market – Q1 2022 QoQ growth spurred by the US, Spain, France, UK, Denmark and Mexico.”
It could be the next big app trend, which, as noted, will no doubt see Meta eyeing its key features and considering how it can incorporate the same into its apps, with a specific focus on Instagram and younger users.
Because as we all know, Meta is very keen to win the hearts of the youth once again. Late last year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerbeg explained that the company would be ‘re-tooling’ to ‘make young adults their north star, rather than optimizing for the larger number of older people’. This came after data showed that Facebook and Instagram usage was slowing, with younger users, in particular, preferring other apps.
Given Meta’s repeated attempts to blunt TikTok’s momentum, through varying forms of replication, you can likely expect it to be considering the same in this instance – though what usage threshold Meta requires before it starts paying attention to a rising app, we don’t know.
Seven and a half million downloads seems like a lot, and as BeReal’s momentum continues to rise, the likelihood of Meta cloning its core functions will also increase.