In the beginning, there was Facebook with its circle of friend, then Instagram came with its filters to embellish immortalized moments, then Twitter’s chirps to comment on the news of the day, up to TikTok dances and trends to laugh and have fun. A few months ago, a new challenge appeared in the mare magnum of social networks, a challenge that will ask you to be more yourself, to Be Real, that’s its name.
Last July, BeReal became the most downloaded app in the US. In contrast to all its social predecessors, this new app does not allow any filters, no music, no videos and especially no programming.
So how does it work?
Every day, at a different time, the user receives a notification and will have two minutes to take a double photo: the first one, using the rear camera, will capture what’s in front of him/her, the second one is a selfie taken at the same time as the first picture. The result will be a double photo, which will be posted exactly as it was taken. The timing of the shot is decided by the app, sending a surprise notification at a different time each day. It is forbidden (and impossible) to edit images or upload them from the phone. BeReal has some unusual features compared to other social media because it focuses on improvised and unretouched images, with the aim of pushing users to share truly authentic snapshots, in a field where, usually, fiction prevails.
Specifically BeReal boasts:
- total absence of filters (after all, the focus is totally on being as real as possible);
- the possibility of taking the photos as many times as one wants in the two minutes available (however, followers will see how many times the photo has been taken before sharing it);
- the impossibility of seeing content posted by one’s own followers/other users until something is shared in one’s own feed, so no more fake profiles to mind each people’s business without getting caught;
- a ban on advertising on the platform.
Every marketing manager will now have one question, or rather two: is it possible to use BeReal for your brand? And again, how can one bring authenticity and promotional messages together? Surely BeReal is not the right social media to directly increase traffic or sales of a brand. As mentioned before, the platform doesn’t, in fact, allow the activation of advertising campaigns, but only the posting of content. Therefore, it is an exclusively organic presence, which can bring advantages to companies in terms of awareness. It can be used to humanize the brand and reveal some significant details, for example by sharing backstage pictures depicting less known aspects of the company, referring to daily life in the office or product processing.
Here are a couple of examples on how some brands succeeded in maximizing the current potential of the app:
The overseas brand Chipotle Mexican Grill, a US restaurant chain, used the app to disseminate a Promo Code, experiencing good results.
Pacsun, a US-made clothing brand, uses BeReal to publish the behind the scenes of its photoshoots, showing “real” moments as opposed to the perfection of the pictures published on glossy magazine covers.
The idea of an unfiltered reality has succeeded in attracting many users. However, for brands it doesn’t seem to be the platform what matters the most, but rather the ideas and content that can be produced. Those who have the best ideas will be able to apply them and succeed on any social media or content container, despite its limitations or diversity.