Why BeReal is such a challenge for brands

The use of the French social media app BeReal is skyrocketing. With a staggering 10 million daily active users, BeReal is one of the fastest-growing social media apps of 2022. It’s massively popular among Gen Zers and thus both a challenge and an opportunity for brands to start with. 

It’s time to BeReal! 

As the name of the app suggests, BeReal is all about posting a photo of yourself once a day in a natural way. This means: no filters, no edits, no location hunting. Just a raw picture. Each day the app sends the notification: “It’s time to be real”, to all their users. As a result, they have to open the app, take a photo and post it within the timeframe of 2 minutes. The moment you snap a photo, BeReal both captures the front and back camera of your smartphone. Yes, you read that right, there is no way to hide or fake it.  

Taking off the pressure.

Why is BeReal such a hype? 

The great success of BeReal is its drive for a brash authentic life on social media. The app has no filters or skin softening tools and doesn’t allow users to upload a previously taken and edited picture. This takes the pressure off the user to go for a picture perfect photo. Especially among Gen Z, the impact of this flawless perfection has a high toll such as anxiety, depression, as well as giving them a sense of insecurity. The urge for authenticity is huge.  


Another consequence of BeReal's success is the fact that the app is being copied in abundance by other social media outlets. Instagram has implemented a similar feature in its app and TikTok has launched an almost identical clone with TikTok Now. The question is: can this knock BeReal off its pedestal? To be continued. 

You can’t fake it. But you can make it!  

How to leverage BeReal as a brand? 

The initial purpose of BeReal is not focused on big brands or commercial messages. At the time of writing, the app doesn't contain a single advertising option and even forbids the use of it for commercial purposes in their Terms of Conditions. In a way to stay relevant, BeReal announced Paid features in September 2022. Users are able to buy stickers or frames, for example. There is no sign of ads in BeReal's business model yet. 

However there is an opportunity for brands and small businesses to use BeReal in their desire for a more authentic way of communicating, and especially if Gen Z is in their target audience. Although it requires a certain amount of discipline and perseverance. Because using BeReal is not like any other social media. 

We’ve listed a few examples of brands who successfully integrated BeReal into their daily marketing: 

The retail clothing brand PacSun uses BeReal to show funny behind the scene material. Chipotle, the American chain of Mexican grill restaurants, uses BeReal to share exclusive promo codes. The first 100 people who use the code in the Chipotle app get a free meal. 

The pro’s and the con’s  

Why is the app quite a challenge for business? 

  • Do you have a rather bureaucratic or complex corporate culture where your social media has to be validated by a lot of people?
  • Does it sound almost impossible as a social media manager to drop everything on a daily basis and snap that photo?

Then it can be hugely inhibiting and discouraging to post a daily BeReal. 

The app is all about showing a true view on life, without overthinking. BeReal content should be fun and transparent, so don’t waste your time with perfection. 

As a result BeReal can be a tough platform for brands to use. For now, the presence on BeReal can be seen as something special on the relatively new platform. You might want to use it if your target audience is Gen Z and you have the courage and the strategy to show daily behind the scenes, promotions, everyday office life or spontaneous shots. Your brand will definitely be picked up by the die hard BeReal users and it can position your brand to be seen in a different light. And remember, there is no time to fake it!  

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