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BeReal Rises to 10 Million Daily Active Users

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BeReal Rises to 10 Million Daily Active Users

Have you got into rising social app BeReal as yet?

If so, you’re not alone, with the app now reportedly up to 10 million daily active users, rising from just 10,000 a little over a year ago.

The trending app of the moment, BeReal sends out a prompt to all users at a random time each day, which asks people to share a photo of what they’re doing, right there and then, with a 2-minute time limit to post an update.

The app is being touted as the anti-Instagram, with the focus on real, unedited everyday life, as opposed to airbrushed, polished IG lifestyle scenes.

As described by BeReal:

No filters. No followers. Just friends, sharing with each other. On BeReal, you discover your friends’ real lives and get closer to them.”

That approach is clearly resonating, so much so that other apps are now looking to replicate its core tools, with Instagram currently working on a new ‘Candid’ feature which looks very similar to the BeReal UI.

It’s interesting to note the growth of the app, and the popularity of its ‘real life’ approach, which shows that people may well have had enough of unrealistic depictions of people’s chosen persona and image online.

Which is a key point of note – when you’re looking at people’s social media accounts, you’re essentially viewing a highlight reel of their life, which excludes the lows and negatives, and accentuates what that person wants you to see. That can lead to negative self-evaluation, and subsequent mental health impacts. But with the most popular celebrities sharing overly airbrushed, hyper-real images of themselves online, that then leads to new trends in representation, and showcasing your ideal image.

You can see, then, why BeReal is gaining traction, with these immediate, everyday images providing a more relatable representation of real life, which can actually help to build community and connection, as opposed to followings online.

But are there brand and marketing opportunities in the app?

Some brands are experimenting with BeReal, like Chipotle, which has been using the app to share exclusive promotional codes.

Chipotle on BeReal

As explained by Fast Company:

“When Chipotle joined BeReal in April (one of the first major brands to do so), it shared reusable promo codes in its posts for a week. The first 100 people to use the promo would receive a free entree. Those codes were regularly redeemed in less than a minute.

That, of course, could be novelty value, but it’s an interesting use of the format to entice engagement, which could point to possible marketing approaches via creative use cases.

Maybe, users will be open to such, if they don’t intrude too much on the user experience, and it could be a good way to enhance connection and community.

Other brands are using the app to provide behind-the-scenes content, and insights into how they go about their business, while some are also testing out variable approaches to product previews and offers, based on BeReal’s limited time window approach.

There are no doubt creative considerations here – and at 10 million users, and growing, you can bet that more brands are paying attention, and are considering what they might be able to do to lean into this steadily growing shift.

It’s worth noting that BeReal doesn’t allow formal advertising at this stage, but that could also be on the cards in future, as the app continues to scale and looks to build a more sustainable business model.

But then again, a larger concern is that BeReal’s core appeal is very limited, and that it could easily be replicated by other apps.

Again, Instagram is already doing this, and you can expect other apps to follow suit, as they work to dilute competitor differentiation, and stop their users from downloading another app.

That approach, whether you like it or not, has proven effective, and as BeReal becomes more of a competitor for attention, more apps are going to try and use their scale to blunt the platform before it gets too big.

It remains to be seen whether BeReal can become a truly significant competitor in the space, but 10 million users is significant, and it’s worth, at the least, considering how it might fit into a more creative marketing approach, as an experiment moving forward.

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

Correction: February 2, 2023 This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated how much Meta expected to spend on its deal with the virtual reality start-up Within. It is $400 million, not $400 billion. Meta’s stock surged on Thursday …

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

Well, this is certainly problematic.

Twitter has announced that, as of February 9th, it’s cutting off free access to its API, which is the access point that many, many apps, bot accounts, and other tools use to function.

That means that a heap of Twitter analytics apps, management tools, schedulers, automated updates – a range of key info and insight options will soon cease to function. Which seems like the sort of thing that, if you were Twitter, you’d want to keep on your app.

But that’s not really how Twitter 2.0 is looking to operate – in a bid to rake in as much revenue as absolutely possible, in any way that it can, Twitter will now look to charge all of these apps and tools. But most, I’d hazard a guess, will simply cease to function.

The bigger business apps already pay for full API access – your Hootsuite’s and your Sprout Social’s – so they’ll likely be unaffected. But it could stop them from offering free plans, which would have a big impact on their business models.

The announcement follows Twitter’s recent API change which cut off a heap of Twitter posting tools, in order, seemingly, to stop users accessing the platform through a third-party UI. 

Now, even more Twitter tools will go extinct, a broad spread of apps and functions that contribute to the real-time ecosystem that Twitter has become. Their loss, if that’s what happens, will have big impacts on overall Twitter activity.

On the other hand, some will see this as another element in Twitter’s crackdown on bots, which Twitter chief Elon Musk has made a personal mission to eradicate. Musk has taken some drastic measures to kill off bots, some of which are having an impact, but Musk himself has also admitted that such efforts are reducing overall platform engagement

This, too, could be a killer in this respect

It’ll also open the door to Twitter competitors, as many automated update apps will switch to other platforms. This relates to things like updates on downtime from video games, weather apps, and more. There are also tools like GIF generators and auto responders – there’s a range of tools that could now look for a new home on Mastodon, or some other Twitter replicant. 

In this respect, it seems like a flawed move, which is also largely ignorant of how the developer community has facilitated Twitter’s growth. 

But Elon and Co. are going to do things their own way, whether outside commentators agree or not – and maybe this is actually a path to gaining new Twitter data customers, and boosting the company’s income. 

But I doubt it.

If there are any third-party Twitter apps that you use, it’ll be worth checking in to see if they’re impacted before next week.



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Meta ‘Year of Efficiency’ call from Zuckerberg was what Street needed

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Meta 'Year of Efficiency' call from Zuckerberg was what Street needed

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., center, departs from federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With one simple slogan, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg temporarily quelled investor discontent with his company’s multibillion-dollar investment into the futuristic metaverse.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization,” Zuckerberg said as part of the release of Meta’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

Following a 64% plunge in Meta’s share price in 2022, Wall Street cheered the report, sending the stock up almost 20%, extending a rally that began late last year. Based on after-hours pricing, Meta is trading at its highest since July.

Growth is not what’s getting investors excited. Meta reported better-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter, but sales still sank 4% from a year earlier, marking the third straight quarterly decline. And the forecast range for the first quarter suggests that year-over-year revenue could increase, but it could also fall again.

Rather, Zuckerberg’s commitment to cost cuts and efficiency is a sign that increasing profitability is important to Meta, which was known as a growth machine prior to last year’s slump.

“The first 18 years I think we grew it 20%, 30% compound or a lot more every year,” Zuckerberg said on the earnings call. “And then obviously that changed very dramatically in 2022, where our revenue was negative for growth, for the first time in the company’s history.”

In looking to the future, Zuckerberg struck a realistic tone.

“We don’t anticipate that that’s going to continue,” he said, regarding the recent drop in revenue. “But I also don’t think it’s going to go back to the way it was before.”

Meta lowered its estimates for total expenses in 2023 to be in the range of $89 billion to $95 billion, down from its prior outlook of $94 billion to $100 billion. In November, the company announced it would lay off over 11,000 workers, or 13% of its staff.

Zuckerberg said Meta will be more “proactive on cutting projects that aren’t performing or may no longer be crucial” and that it will emphasize “removing layers of middle management to make decisions faster.”

Meta is also reducing spending as it builds new data centers that are intended to be more efficient while still able to power the company’s various artificial intelligence technologies. Capital expenditures are now expected to be in the range of $30 billion to $33 billion for 2023 instead of $34 billion to $37 billion.

Zuckerberg is selling investors on a story they want to hear, acknowledging that the company got bloated and needed more financial discipline. One of Zuckerberg’s top deputies, technology chief Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, wrote a personal essay just a few days ago echoing that sentiment.

Still, Meta has plenty of challenges ahead, in terms of both costs and reviving its core ad business.

Meta’s Reality Labs unit, which is responsible for developing the nascent metaverse, lost $13.7 billion in 2022. Finance chief Susan Li told analysts that the company isn’t planning for any reduction in that unit anytime soon. Zuckerberg still sees it as the company’s future.

Digital advertising, meanwhile, is suffering from a struggling economy, and Li gave no indication that companies are planning to dramatically increase their spending in 2023.

Meta has also yet to recover from Apple’s 2021 iOS privacy update that made it harder to target users with ads. Li said the company has been improving its online advertising system, but Apple’s update is “still certainly an absolute headwind to our revenue number.”

During the question and answer part of the call, Zuckerberg was asked about Meta’s progress in generative artificial intelligence, which has become the latest hot thing in Silicon Valley. His answer indicated that Meta is pursuing opportunities there, but will be cautious in how quickly it proceeds. Running these programs is expensive, and Meta needs to ensure it can develop them affordably, he said.

Zuckerberg said that while Meta is researching how best to incorporate the new technology, he wants “to be careful not to get too ahead of the development of it.”

Correction: Meta’s earnings report and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments occurred after the market close on Wednesday. An earlier version misstated the day.

WATCH: Meta grows in daily active users, shares pop on revenue beat

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