Why Gen Z’s new favorite photo app is shaking up social media [Video]

No influencers, no ads, no edits and one post a day to “be real” – that’s the basis of BeReal, a new social media app making waves with Gen Z.

The opposite of Instagram in concept, the app – which was launched by French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat in 2020 – amassed nearly 2.7 million downloads in the US alone in May 2022, followed by his country of birth, France.

Users can post once per day within the two-minute window allocated by the app, and content disappears after 24 hours and is stored in the user’s private archive. After clicking the notification once a day, two images are clicked, one with the rear camera and one with the front camera.

“BeReal won’t make you famous,” the company’s team said in a statement to Yahoo Finance. “If you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram.”

There are no photo filters available and no number of friends will give the user an advantage on using the app. Friends can comment and react with ‘RealMojis’, which prompts the user to take a mini selfie instead of reacting with regular emojis. Replays on any post will appear as text with the image warning the viewer.

“Gen Z values ​​authenticity and rejects social norms,” Maria Beatriz Lopes, a London-based PR representative and first Gen Z user of BeReal, told Yahoo Finance. “While Instagram promotes an ‘ideal’ life, BeReal instead shows us the ‘real’ us, without filters. We feel more natural and have more connection with our peers, which is basically what the generation appreciates. »

“Changing the way we interact with social media”

BeReal’s popularity over Instagram can be reflected in its App Store ranking, as it currently beats both Instagram and Meta (META).

Instagram seems to have recognized its competition, since it introduced a front and rear camera function similar to BeReal last week.

“There will always be something new in the way we communicate digitally and if Meta takes notice and adds similar functionality, then yes BeReal is changing the way we interact with social media,” Sarah Keeble, Marketing Director at Verb , a digital marketing agency, told Yahoo Finance. “The interesting thing to watch will be whether consumers continue to use the platform or similar features.”

Data from Apptopia indicates that BeReal downloads have increased by 315% since the start of 2022, making it the second most downloaded free app on iPhones in the United States

The app challenges the traditional income generator in social media. Many in the social media community called him “anti instagramespecially since Instagram is dependent on advertising revenue, with the United States being the largest social media advertising market, according to Statistical.

“Meta has monopolized the social media space for over a decade,” Keeble said. “They innovated quickly to keep up with their competitors. We’ve seen them introduce VR stories and threads when Snapchat overtook them in app rankings. »

Screenshots of the BeReal app. (Photo: AppStore)

Brands benefit from BeReal

BeReal has also started gaining momentum among large companies.

In 2018, more than 97% of Fortune 500 companies use social media as their primary marketing platform, according to Entrepreneur.

Chipotle Mexican fast food chain (GCM) has started using BeReal to reach its majority Gen Z user base, as it announced a promotional code for free entry to the app to its first 100 customers.

PacSun, an American distribution brand, has also used the app for marketing purposes.

A screenshot of the Chipotle promo via the BeReal app.  (Be real)

A screenshot of the Chipotle promo via the BeReal app. (Be real)

“Really, not many people will change their marketing,” Keeble said. “However, there is already a movement in the industry to share more authentic and human content. This has been driven through the humor and lo-fi nature of TikTok. of human connection – possibly an impact of the pandemic.

If BeReal’s platform continues to grow, there will likely be more advertising opportunities for innovators, she said.

However, Keeble added: “I suspect the majority of brands will lag behind. We always encourage brands to connect on TikTok. »

Tanya is a staff writer for Yahoo Finance.

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