Because Generation Z’s new favorite photo app is rocking social media

Because Generation Z’s new favorite photo app is rocking social media

Because Generation Z’s new favorite photo app is rocking social media

No influencers, no ads, no edits and one post a day to “be real”: this is the basis of BeReal, a new social media app that makes a sensation with Gen Z.

An opposite pole of Instagram in concept, the app – launched by French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat in 2020 – amassed nearly 2.7 million downloads in the US alone in May 2022, followed by its home country of France.

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

“BeReal is not going to 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 in using the app. Friends can comment and react with “RealMojis”, which prompts the user to take a mini selfie instead of reacting with normal emojis. Repeats on any post will appear as text with the image notifying the viewer.

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

“Changing the way we interact with social media”

BeReal’s popularity over Instagram can be reflected through its ranking on the App Store, as it is currently beating both Instagram and Meta (META).

Instagram seemed to have recognized the competition, as it introduced a BeReal-like front and rear camera feature last week.

“There will always be news in the way we communicate digitally and if Meta notices and adds similar functionality, then yes, BeReal is changing the way we interact with social media,” Sarah Keeble, marketing director of Verb, an agency digital marketing, he told Yahoo Finance. “The interesting thing to look at will be whether consumers continue to use the platform or similar functionality.”

Apptopia data indicates BeReal downloads have grown 315% since early 2022, making it the second most downloaded free app on iPhone in the US

The app is challenging the traditional social media revenue generator. Many in the social media community have labeled it “anti-Instagram,” particularly since Instagram relies on ad revenue and the United States is the largest social media ad market, according to Statista.

“Meta has monopolized the social media space for over a decade,” Keeble said. “They innovated quickly to keep up with their competitors. We saw them introducing stories and VR files when Snapchat was overtaking them on the app charts. “

Screengrabs from the BeReal app.  (Photo: App Store)

Screengrabs from the BeReal app. (Photo: App Store)

Brands make money on BeReal

BeReal has also started to gain a foothold among major companies.

According to Entrepreneur, over 97% of Fortune 500 companies use social media as their primary marketing platform in 2018.

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

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

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

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

“In reality, not many will change their marketing,” Keeble said. “However, there is already a movement in the industry to share more authentic and human content. This was driven by TikTok’s humor and lo-fi nature. Once again, we can take it back for the need for human connection, perhaps an impact of the pandemic ”.

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

However, Keeble added: “I suspect most brands will be late. We are still encouraging brands to get on TikTok.”

Tanya is a writer for Yahoo Finance.

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