BeReal, the up-and-coming social media platform that values authenticity, is reaching out to brands and celebrities for the first time. Starting on February 6, notable figures and companies will have the option to sign up as “RealBrands” or “RealPeople.” Through this feature, fans will have the opportunity to glimpse behind-the-scenes moments in their lives that are not typically shared on other platforms.
BeReal was created with the intention of removing the staged feel often found on social media. Each day at a different time, users receive a push notification reminding them to “BeReal.” They then have two minutes to share whatever they’re currently doing. When the app first gained popularity in 2022, its focus was on helping users connect with their existing friends. BeReal sets out to be the opposite of Instagram, encouraging users to share unfiltered glimpses into their daily lives. This means that the daily push notification to “BeReal” might capture someone washing dishes instead of doing something glamorous.
Given BeReal’s overall concept, the introduction of RealBrands and RealPeople might come as a surprise to users.
“We know what you’re thinking… ‘how does this fit in with BeReal’s mission?'” the company says in a blog post announcing the feature. “By showcasing that notable people and brands are just like us – equally mundane and intriguing at different times – we aim to shift and improve some of the negativity often present on modern social platforms.”
TechCrunch reported that BeReal now boasts 23 million daily active users. This marks a slight increase from August, when the platform stated it had 20 million daily active users. As growth begins to slow, BeReal is faced with the challenge of retaining these users. In the past year, the platform has rolled out several new features, including groups, mentions, multiple posts per day, pinned posts, and a “friends of friends” feed. According to a Pew study, an estimated 13% of U.S. teenagers use BeReal.
However, BeReal faces the same dilemma as other venture-funded social platforms – it needs to generate revenue. While Facebook, initially focused on connecting people, became an advertising business, BeReal cannot do the same. This leaves the platform with two options: sell ads or convince users to purchase premium features. The latter is often more challenging.
The RealBrands and RealPeople featured on BeReal are not traditional advertisements. Like any other user, they must post on the spot when prompted. However, it’s not difficult to see how opening the door to brands could be the first step in BeReal’s endeavor to generate revenue.
“For those concerned that this shift will change our focus, we want to assure you that BeReal will always prioritize friends and close connections,” the blog post promises.
In the midst of this change, can we hope to see BeReal posts from brands? If so, we can think of one candidate for early access – the infamous Duolingo Owl.