Not to say I told you so but I have been saying for ages that BeReal’s golden era simply won’t last. It’s repetitive (please not another WFH picture in front of a laptop), not engaging enough (only permits one photo format and no videos) and it doesn’t allow for advertising which naturally reduces an app’s shelflife.
Finally, it seems, I am not alone in thinking so. Recent third-party data has shown a drop-off in download growth (roughly a 95% drop in weekly U.S. downloads from the app’s 2022 peak) for the anti-filter app that had strong momentum in 2022. Though beauty brands initially rushed onto the app starting in the second half of last year, activity is possibly slowing down. But brands aren’t giving up yet.
According to Katelyn Winker, VP of Client Strategy & Services at digital marketing agency Taylor & Pond, BeReal is “still relevant but declining quickly” among Gen-Z. A lot of people in college still use it but not nearly as much as a few months ago. It was much more popular when it first came out, and people are starting to stop [using it] because they feel it’s pointless.”
Due to BeReal’s inability to advertise, it has also meant that many brands have fallen off the wagon. This February 14th only featured one post by a beauty brand: a Valentine’s Day picture from Too Faced. The brand posted again on February 15, along with three others: Innbeauty, Peace Out Skincare, and Alpyn Beauty. Missing were some of the most enthusiastic early beauty adopters, including E.l.f. Beauty and Rare Beauty.
Evan Horowitz, co-founder of Movers + Shakers, the creative agency that helped set up E.l.f.’s BeReal, is still “bullish about the future of BeReal.”
Personally: The app must find better ways to engage its users. One notification per day is insufficient to keep users from deleting the app. And not knowing when the notification will go off will never work with brands; you can't expect a social media manager to work around the clock. Even if your brand meets the notification for posting a BeReal, how influential will it be? I don't see it working for any brand looking to increase sales or awareness. But if you want to have some fun, go ahead.
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