BeReal, the new Gen Z photo sharing app that prompts users to take one unedited photo a day, is taking the social media by storm
Forget about TikTok. BeReal is the latest social media app that everyone’s talking about. In just two years since its launch, BeReal reached the top 20 on the Apple App Store’s list of top free apps in May. It was also the fourth most downloaded app in social networking, behind only Facebook’s three main apps.
Founded in 2020 by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat along with Kévin Perreau, the Paris, France-based BeReal is a photo sharing app where users can spontaneously share life updates with their friends. In an already crowded photo sharing space, BeReal takes a different approach, but with a slightly different twist.
According to app intelligence firm Apptopia, BeReal has seen 8 million downloads year-to-date, representing 76.5% of its lifetime installs. France (where the app is based) and the U.S. lead, with a 20.5% and 19.7% share of installs, respectively.
How it works
BeReal has come with a simple yet a clever idea–BeReal prompts users to take one unedited photo of themselves once a day at a random time after receiving a push notification. Users have two minutes to take, post, and share a picture before it’s marked as late. Upon receiving the alert, the user can then see the photos their friends also posted.
Then after sharing their photos, they are then rewared to see what their friends posted for the day and are able to comment or react with an emoji. The method seems to be working. According to app analytics firm SensorTower, eReal now has 10.7 million global installs to date. The app record month came in April, when it hit 3.6 million, up 157% from March, SensorTower said.
“It’s silly but I feel like it serves a different purpose than Instagram or Snapchat,” Emily, a user who’s been on the app for about two months, told CNBC on condition we not use her last name. “I have friends on it who I don’t communicate with on a regular basis but I appreciate getting a little window into what they’re doing once a day, even if it’s just sitting in front of their computer or on a walk.”
For now, BeReal app is free with no ad. However, BeReal has not explained how it plans to make money. But that has not stopped investors looking for the next big winner from pouring millions into the app. Investors like what they see. According to Business Insider, BeReal currently has a valuation of over $600 million after raising undisclosed amount of funding in over 3 rounds.
BeReal is not without controversies. Minutiae, an app launched in 2017 said it first came up with the idea that BeReal is using now: “alerts that instruct users to snap whatever it is they’re doing now.” Unfortunately for Minutiae, the startup failed to patent its so-called idea. Minutiae co-founder Martin Adolfsson also told TechCrunch that BeReal “borrowed pretty heavily” from his idea.