PROCUREMENT

BeReal Looks to BeRich: Celebrities and Brands on BeReal

Feb 13, 2024

Marketing News

BeReal Looks to BeRich: Celebrities and Brands on BeReal

In the major update no one saw coming, we now have celebrities and brands on BeReal. 

The popular social media platform announced last week that it will now be allowing both celebrities and brands on Bereal. The new feeds will be called RealPeople and RealBrands. 

Whilst the platform seemed quite confident that the public would love this new update in the weeks leading up to its release, so far consumer reactions have been overwhelmingly negative. Users have flocked to the company’s TikTok page to express their disdain, filling its comment sections with anger at the new features; especially at the thought of brands on BeReal.

With BeReal’s usership continuing to plummet, is this update enough to drag it out of its early grave? Or, is it simply too little too late? 

THE BEREAL LOWDOWN

When BeReal crashed onto the social media scene in 2020, the world was shaken to its core. 

Initially finding popularity on college campuses, the app quickly became the platform of choice for Gen Z and millennial users across the globe. At its peak, the platform had a whopping 73 million users, and was valued at an incredible $600 million. 

For those of you who have somehow come out of the BeReal hype unscathed, the app is akin to a photo diary. Users are prompted once a day at a random time to post a photo, which is uploaded immediately to their profile. They are only able to see their friends’ posts once they post their own image, and you are able to view how late someone’s post is as well as how many times they retook their photo. 

Ultimately, the app is all about authenticity. It is (in theory) the anti-instagram; users simply post what they are doing in the moment. Not highly scripted, highly edited photos, but true, mundane moments. 

@profsnider

Replying to @HTC What is BeReal. It’s a once-a-day photo sharing app trying to bring authentic content into our social media lives. But is it over? #bereal #socialmedia #authenticcontent

♬ original sound – Chris | Social Media Professor

Consumers loved BeReal due to its unique quality. At the time, there were truly no other platforms out there doing what BeReal was. Its dual camera, especially, caused shockwaves, with Instagram and TikTok both adopting the feature. BeReal promoted authenticity and celebrated the boringness of human life; it was the antithesis of Instagram, Snapchat and every other major social media platform. 

On top of this, up until now there have been very few celebrities and brands on BeReal. It was a relatively ad free platform. 

Users appreciated the calming nature of the platform as a result. There was something incredibly soothing about watching your friends spend their days exactly as you did. Finding out that everyone else is just as boring as you, when platforms such as Instagram continuously communicate the opposite, was a wonderful feeling. 

But, this soon got old. 

@dingnewscorp

Social media platform bereal is dying as it’s daily active users have plummeted

♬ original sound – Ding News

Authenticity, it turned out, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Users quickly became bored of scrolling through a million versions of the same photo, and many fell prey to their old habits. Whilst BeReal does its best to encourage spur of the moment posting, it is still possible to wait and craft the perfect photo. Many users simply hold off on taking their BeReal until they are in the midst of something more exciting than laying around at home. 

As such, BeReal’s time in the sun quickly ended. Its monthly users fell drastically from 73.5 million in August of 2022, to 33.3 million in March 2023. Articles on the death of BeReal flooded the internet, with those in the industry and out all swearing up and down that BeReal was over. We all waited with bated breath to see if the app would manage to resurrect itself, or if it was just another passing fad. 

In 2023, BeReal made its first attempt to regain relevance in the public eye with a global brand marketing campaign. All through the app’s decline, its team remained silent. They repeated the same refrain again and again; that the numbers of the app did not deter them, as they did not create it for fame nor fortune. 

It seems that these morals were loose at best, as introducing celebrities and brands on BeReal is certainly geared towards financial gain.  

CELEBRITIES AND BRANDS ON BEREAL: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

@bereal

A new era.

♬ Originalton – BeReal.

BeReal revealed its new features, RealPeople and RealBrands, last week through both a TikTok video and a release on its website. 

The new addition of celebrities and brands on BeReal is optional, allowing users to choose whether or not to participate. The RealPeople feed is for celebrities and influencers, whilst the RealBrands feed is for brands. Those wishing to participate must apply and be vetted by the BeReal team. 

So far, celebrities such as Niall Horan, Nina Dobrev and Dua Lipa have been seen on the platform. In terms of brands on BeReal, Mac Cosmetics, Glossier and universities such as UCLA have been found posting. 

BeReal has mentioned the term RealFan multiple times across their press for the new updates. Whilst the exact meaning of this term is still unknown, a brief article on BeReal’s website has led many to believe that RealFan could be an early test for subscription based content. 

@butthatsmyopinion

BeReals downfall has begun #bereal #bereal_app #socialmedia

♬ original sound – But That’s My Opinion

As previously mentioned, user response to the update has been all around negative. BeReal’s TikTok has been flooded with thousands of negative reviews and angry comments. Users are incredibly upset with the update, and feel that it goes against everything that BeReal initially stood for. The app was supposed to be a place free from the constraints of influencers and marketing; the one place on your phone where you could simply breathe. Instead, it is now exactly like every other app out there. 

The response has been so negative, in fact, that the BeReal team has been forced to respond; an astounding act, considering that they typically stay silent. They posted a video on their TikTok attempting to make light of the situation, and reminding people that the new features are optional.

The Visual Director at BeReal, David Aliagas, claimed that he lost all of his favourite campaigns and 1 million followers overnight on TikTok, due to people not enjoying the new update of celebrities and brands on BeReal. 

@davidaliagas

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, But it’s ok 🙂 this is a long journey and I am learning a lot from it. Thank you for the support and for those of you who are not that kind remember that behind every screen there is a human with feelings and a family who cares and worries about them? Nevertheless I will continue to spread my values, to show you my journey on an intimate way and to bring a bit of reality and messiness to the perfectly staged social media scene 🙂 Love you all, good night? Hopefully, we will soon be a big family again ?

♬ Found (From the Netflix Film ‘Society of the Snow’) – Michael Giacchino

CELEBRITIES AND BRANDS ON BEREAL: WHAT NOW? 

Ultimately, BeReal has well and truly dropped the ball with RealPeople and RealBrands. 

The update goes against everything that the platform stands for, by introducing influencers and brands on BeReal. It is hard to imagine any users opting for the update, particularly when one looks at their current responses. 

In spite of this, it is easy to see why BeReal went down this avenue. With plummeting numbers and no steady ad revenue model, it is likely BeReal sought to find a way to stabilise itself. The introduction of celebrities and brands on BeReal opens the door for marketing and advertising to finally find their footing on the app. 

Yet, marketing only works when consumers are watching and interested. If there is not an audience on BeReal, then there will be no marketing on BeReal. Thus, at this point in time, with users leaving the app in droves, it is difficult to imagine a future where BeReal marketing is a legitimate opportunity. 

brands on bereal

For those of you that are still curious, now is the perfect time to get involved with RealBrands. The space is currently quite empty, and this would allow your brand ample playing room to gain a steady audience before the competition arrives. 

Of course, there is always the chance that consumers surprise us all and take to the new BeReal. Perhaps, once the initial shock wears off, consumers will start to enjoy celebrities and brands on BeReal. This would allow marketers to swoop in, and cement BeReal as a major player in the social media game yet again. 

Unfortunately for BeReal, this future seems unlikely at best. Users made up their minds about the platform long ago. Its time in the sun is well and truly over; and no number of B-List celebrities showing off their thousand dollar seats at the Super Bowl will change that.

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@ Socially Powerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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