Actionable tips, community conversations, and marketing inspiration.

Unrolling: BeReal

Shae Henrie

Content Strategist @ AdRoll

Have you recently been asked by someone you know to snap a candid for BeReal?

What is BeReal?

BeReal is a social media platform founded at the end of 2019. The idea of this newest social media platform is that you’re capturing your surroundings + yourself in their true state; no editing, no filters. The tagline of the platform proudly says, “Your Friends for Real.” The secondary focus is to build the habit of updating your close friends every day. A push notification sequence reminds you when to publish photos each day in a window of two minutes.

This format has launched the platform into popularity in 2022 with 53 million installs. Now what’s on every business owner’s mind: is this the future of social media? Is this another platform to stake your claim on as a brand? 

Who Uses BeReal?

Though the app launched in 2019, it has witnessed a huge jump in growth since early 2022. From January to September, the growth reached over 2,000%

This app has caught the attention of many Gen Zers, where their demands for social sharing center around more meaningful, deep connections with the people and brands they know.

While there has been a mass amount of downloads, the app still only gets about 9% of those users to open per day (on Android devices). The platform is still fairly new, however, it took TikTok just two years to reach almost 700 million downloads. BeReal hasn’t had the explosive virality that TikTok had, though it may have something to do with the short-form video content being familiar to users and creators on TikTok. BeReal offers a more unique content creation process as well as more in-the-moment human interaction, which in turn creates a learning curve.

How Does BeReal Work?

The feature and posting process breakdown:

  • You have a two minute window every day to post your photo. You are notified via push notification. You can add a caption after posting. 

  • Your exact location is captured and shared with your post. (This feature can be turned off.)

  • The photo cannot be edited or filtered. 

  • The photo captures from the front-facing and rear-facing cameras at the same time. 

  • It seems that the retakes you snap are detailed for those who view the image.

  • If you don’t take your pic before the two minute window closes, you can still post. Your picture is marked late when posting outside of the window and your friends  can see that info. 

  • Your photo will be available for your friends, or BeReal users if sharing on the Discover Page, to view that day only. 

  • Friends cannot like posts, instead you can comment or react with RealMojis. RealMojis can be emojis or pre-set reactions like a thumbs up. You can also take an Instant RealMoji where you capture your reaction in real time from your front-facing camera.

  • You can access your own past posts and save + share them. 

  • If you screenshot another user’s post, they will be notified.

  • The Discovery page is entirely random!

  • So far, no monetization opportunities seem to be available. 

The format leaves little room for primping and polishing a post before it goes out for all to see, as well as making your content creation process more visible to those who follow you. 

What’s in it for Marketers?

As for right now, there are no content trends to report. The real trend is within social media as a whole. The need for more realistic relationships on social media is more clear than ever. As a brand, the goal should not be to monetize the next channel, but to work to add value to each channel and your followers instead. 

As you set goals for organic social media within your organization, consider the role of social media for your audience. Is this a channel they’re likely/able to buy products on natively? Is the channel aimed toward your audience’s age range, interests, and communication preferences? Is it a photo-sharing platform, video, text, or all of the above?

Depending on the role certain platforms play in the lives of your audience, there will be varying tolerance levels for brands finding their way to a personal feed. If your goal is to make sales on social, you’ll want to consider a channel with shopping capabilities, etc. 

Should Businesses BeReal?

Our overall sentiment is: no. Businesses should not lean into BeReal as a channel, yet. While new platforms with viral possibilities are intriguing, start with one simple question: “what is the purpose of my brand on insert social channel here?” Being able to determine what your goals are will guide you in the direction of the next channel to adopt or even to a channel that’s currently underutilized and could use optimization. 

However, brands should remain open to the idea of platforms that allow them to connect with our audience in a different way. While BeReal might not be right for brands, influencer opportunities could be on the horizon. 

What to try instead:

If you’re eager to continue to diversify your social marketing efforts, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Try a more established but new channel. While there are tons of brands running ads on Meta platforms, there are other social platforms that offer advertising capabilities. Pinterest and TikTok are two that many brands have not yet adopted!

  2. Use features you’re overlooking. Haven’t experimented with Reels on Instagram yet? Start there! While there are many new platforms to jump into, there are also ways to engage your followers and the algorithm on channels you know and love. Trying different types of content creation (like short-form videos) also allows you to find out what types of platforms you’d be able to create content for in the future. 

Is Social Media a Part of Your Marketing Mix?

Social media can be a powerful tool, and it’s even more powerful with a hybrid strategy. Step up your social ads game and say goodbye to navigating separate social ads platforms and hello to social ads with AdRoll. View, edit, analyze your campaigns, and receive insights on what’s working and where to best spend your budget to increase your ROI. Click here to learn more. 

For more resources on building your social media channels or strategizing ads, check out the guides below.

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