BeReal: What Is It and Why Is It Becoming Popular?

December 2, 2022

Written by Jhasmin Vidal

BeReal is a photo-sharing app that lets users post one photo per day to show their friends what they are doing in real-time.

It’s meant to get people to be more real to themselves instead of trying to present their best selves every time.

Because everyone can only post once a day, users don’t have to be on the app for hours. This makes the app stand out from the rest of the other social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook.

With all that, BeReal is undoubtedly becoming Gen Z’s new obsession.


What Is BeReal, and How Did It Start?

Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, two French entrepreneurs, made the photo-sharing app BeReal in 2020. They wanted people to use it the way social media apps were meant to be used: to stay in touch with friends and family without having to worry about followers, likes, and filters.

The plan was easy: Snap a photo. Be your true self. Be real.

The app now has 73.5 million monthly active users and is valued at over $600 million.

Those are some HUGE numbers. However, as we all know, a brand cannot succeed without a strong marketing plan.

So, let’s take a step back and see how BeReal started to blew up.

It all started in the basement of a burger shop at Harvard.

Students were invited to a party at Tasty Burger for free if they downloaded BeReal and told five friends about it.

As a college student, who wouldn’t want that? Get the app, have fun at the party, and delete it as soon as you leave.

Except that they didn’t uninstall the app. They were hooked!


Users were getting something from BeReal that they had never seen before. A social media app that doesn’t focus on going viral but on being real.

This showed that the market had a HUGE unmet need. Consumers want content that is real. Consumers are tired of seeing unrealistic content on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

This is where BeReal has an advantage. It is raw in a way that we haven’t seen on any other platform.

How Does BeReal Works?

BeReal allows you to post photos of yourself and your life, but there’s a catch. Everyone is expected to post once a day, at the same time.

The app notifies users at random times throughout the day that it’s “time to be real.” When the user opens the app, a two-minute timer starts, giving them only that much time to take a picture of whatever they’re doing at the time.

When you post a BeReal, the app uses both your front and back cameras to take a picture so that other people can see what you look like and where you are.

The rules of BeReal

Why Is BeReal Getting Popular Even With the Strong Competition?

BeReal has a lot of tough competitors.

TikTok is used by every single person on the planet who has a phone. Instagram is the old pro that everyone looks up to. And the richest man in the world just bought Twitter.

Even worse, BeReal’s app goes against the idea of exponential growth.

Users can’t go viral, there are no funny memes to share with friends, and influencers can’t do what they do. making it nearly impossible for a platform to grow.

So, what exactly did BeReal do to come this far? First off, they did a good job of delivering on their promise to the world.

They use the phrase “not another social network.” In this way, they are telling their audience, “They won’t make you famous, they won’t sell your data, and they won’t make you waste your life scrolling.”

Their messaging was crystal clear.

Besides that, BeReal became famous because of a group of college students who worked together.

They started an ambassador program that became popular all over the country. The whole program is based on giving their ambassadors more power, which is a big risk.

But as the saying goes, all things come with a risk, especially in business.

Unlike other ambassador programs, BeReal ambassadors manage a marketing budget, host parties, and come up with their own creative ideas.

They also get paid! They are a match made in heaven. BeReal and college students get along so well. 

Why is that?

BeReal recognized who they wanted with their app, aligned incentives with their ambassadors, and grew like crazy from that.

What can we take away from this? 

  • The people’s power. People believe in other people more than brands. That is why, when done correctly, ambassador programs may be incredibly effective.
  • Authenticity is valuable. A shift toward authenticity is what consumers want. Brands that can be human across all of their social media platforms will stand out.
  • Despite the inability of businesses to create followings on the platform, BeReal’s popularity increased. What’s the reason? People like to follow people rather than companies.

Want to find your ideal customers and work directly with them to boost your brand? Let us help you!

We offer workshops to help brands identify their target customers and their needs. Feel free to contact us anytime to learn more!

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