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SOCIAL MEDIA

New ‘anti-Instagram’ platform proving a hit with online audiences

By our News Team | 2022

BeReal wants its users to ‘be real’ and discourages the kind of gloss that makes Instagram popular with influencers and brands.

Instagram, the social media platform beloved by glitzy influencers and glossy brands, could soon be facing competition from a fast-growing opponent that has set itself up as a kind of ‘anti-Instagram’.

BeReal, a French photo app that launched in 2020 and prides itself on encouraging users to post only one photo per day, has suddenly began to build a notable user base.

Social Media

Social app BeReal is opposing the influencer-hyped coverage common on Instagram. Photo credit: Ivan Samkov via Pexels

It now has more than 20-million users – mostly in developed countries – and had more than 1.7-million installs during one week in mid-July. This, according to the digital analytics platform Sensor Tower, is the biggest weekly gain ever recorded.

“After gaining popularity in France, the app started taking off among college-aged users in the US earlier this year. Its appeal, according to many users, is its intentional opposition to the ultra-curated aesthetic of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook parent Meta Platforms,” news agency Bloomberg reported this week.

Users get a photo-prompt once a day

“On BeReal, people post only once daily, prompted by a push notification instructing them that it’s ‘Time to BeReal’, bracketed by two yellow warning sign emojis. With one click, the app takes two photos, one from the front and back cameras simultaneously.”

In its own report on the sudden rise of BeReal, the business magazine Fast Company noted: “Not only is the interface designed specifically to discourage the kind of influencer-building that has been a core feature of social media for more than a decade, the app’s developers promise that ‘BeReal won’t make you famous’.

The app’s rapid increase in prominence has caused some technical problems due to system overloads, but Fast Company doesn’t see this as a significant long-term hindrance.  

“Whether it can sustain that growth trajectory, of course, remains to be seen. But if nothing else, it’s refreshing to hear about a popular Gen Z app that isn’t TikTok for a change, even if TikTok influencers have already discovered it,” the publication said.

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