The rise of BeReal

Lessons in communication and connection from the hottest social media platform.

From shorthand text lingo, to having a whole conversation with a single smirk emoji, the way we communicate has changed significantly throughout the years.

Back in the MySpace era, we spent days curating the perfect page with the five songs that expressed our vibe and pored over friends’ accounts. Now, in the time of TikTok, videos are consumed in seconds (belying the amount of time it takes to create them).

The difference between these platforms reflects our ever-decreasing attention spans. According to a recent Microsoft study, we hold concentration for only eight seconds – four seconds shorter than the average attention span in the year 2000. 

This vicious cycle has consumers constantly primed for the next shiny thing, opening the door for social’s newest craze – BeReal.

What is BeReal?

Since its launch in 2020, BeReal has gained momentum and popularity with over 21.6 million active users in 2022.

Founder Alexis Barreyat has dubbed it “the social media you can’t go viral on”. As a social platform you don’t have to perform for, BeReal has found its way into the hearts of Gen-Z and Millennials.

Every day, a single notification will go off at a random time, giving users two minutes to post a photo of what they’re doing, wherever they are, using both the front and back-facing cameras.

We know that ding all too well at IMPACT. Whether stocktaking product, lunching with the boss, or creating content, when that notification pops up, we all cram into photos for our feeds.

While BeReal doesn’t offer a completely new suite of functionality, the platform offers the right combination of format and function at the right time, with these four factors:

Forced authenticity

With the growth of influencer marketing, the creator economy has caused content to become more polished and curated and feeds have become infiltrated with ads.

This has paved the way for BeReal to emerge as a true challenge platform.

With one timed notification per day, BeReal asks users to stop in that second and capture whatever they’re doing, demanding authenticity. Although it’s possible to post late to the feed, this tardiness is called out in a notification through to users’ friends – even if only a few seconds late.

It’s allowing us to concern ourselves less with the razzle-dazzle of ‘perfection’ and invest more in sharing real stories and moments with the people that matter around us.

Temporary content

Every time a user posts, it’s only visible to their friends, and only until the next notification goes off (no more than 24 hours later). BeRealers also get a notification if a screenshot is taken of their pics.

In a time when celebrities are cancelled from years’ old tweets, and HR departments use Facebook to vet potential job candidates, the temporary nature of BeReal offers freedom to post on a whim.

Connecting at a moment in time

BeReal notifies every account holder at the same time – globally.  With users sharing content at the exact same time in such a candid fashion, a deep sense of connectedness is established.

After a tough couple of years and multiple lockdowns, connection is currency, and businesses that facilitate it will succeed.

Breaking the binge

With apps like TikTok and Instagram perfecting the addictive ingredient that keeps us scrolling, BeReal is breaking the cycle with just one notification per day.

In our increasingly time-poor and distracted era, this app is a quick and simple offer of connection. For those overwhelmed by keeping up with constant social messaging, or are straight-up sick of social media, BeReal is an appealing platform.

To find out how IMPACT can help your social media strategy connect with your audience on every platform, get in touch with Nicole.

Other News