Is the shine wearing off BeReal?
March 6, 2023
Are we still being real? Throughout this month we have been talking a lot about BeReal, how it works and why it is so successful. However, the latest report presented by Apptopia at Business of Apps seems to point to the steady decline of the app.
In this article we will be talking a bit about these numbers and the possible reasons why this happened, taking into account the great initial reception the project had. Likewise, if you stil don’t know much about the app, we recommend you to check our articles about how BeReal works and its features. So, here we go!
Current Status of BeReal
At the time, BeReal was an app that marketed itself as an “authentic” social media experience with friends, reached 20 million DAUs in October 2022, but has since seen its daily activities decline to 10.4 million users.
In fact, the social media platform declined by 48 percent from its October high according to data provided to Business of Apps by Apptopia and its download have also seen a noticeable decline in recent months, from 12 million in September 2022 to 3.3 million in January, according to data from AppMagic.
For its part, TechCrunch has said that there were earlier indications that BeReal was not gaining enough ground to maintain its high ranks after going viral and during the month of October (highlighted as the best time for the French application), only 9% of its Android users were opening it daily.
Initially, we can infer that the time-consuming methods of the application may also be the reason why some users have gradually lost interest. Likewise, we must consider that many people complained about BeReal’s notification failures, the same users who may have felt that the project was unfair or useless.
On the other hand, the company has faced challenges as its once-daily notification gimmick has been ripped off by Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok (TikTok launched Now, Instagram added Candid Stories, and Snapchat added a Dual Camera option). While it’s not yet clear how popular any of these clones are in comparison to BeReal, the app itself has remained unchanged. There’s nothing to addict or re-engage users (which is kind of the point).
Furthermore, as we all know, the founders’ goal is to create a new type of social experience that doesn’t demand huge chunks of time and strives for authenticity. But they also haven’t laid out a vision for its future, despite a $60 million Series B — a number that suggests a grand plan should be in store or at least monetization.
BeReal’s strategy is declining
As mentioned above, BeReal hasn’t changed the user experience of its app at all since it gained popularity and its method of sending out a notification each day at a random time to get users to take a photo, and displays it alongside all of your friends photos in a non-algorithmic feed is valid.
And well, we must admit that as soon as it came out, it clearly worked for the millions disillusioned by Instagram, which inadvertently provided BeReal with the perfect villain for its campaign of social authenticity, but whether it keeps those users long-term is up for debate.
After all, having to check the feed only once or twice a day, in comparison to TikTok’s never-ending short videos and Instagram’s many ways to browse, inevitably reduces the amount of leverage the app has on its audience to return each day.