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.
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.
Meta Will Shut Down its Newsletter Platform Early Next Year
Another sign of Meta’s fleeting interest in the latest trends, the company launched Bulletin in April 2021, as part of an effort to take a piece of the growing newsletter market, with platforms like Substack seeing massive growth in facilitating direct connection between writers and their audiences. Twitter also acquired newsletter platform Revue, and it had seemed, at the time, that newsletters could offer a new, supplementary income stream for creators, aligned with social apps.
In addition to this, Meta also saw an opportunity to provide a platform for local publications that had been shut down due to the pandemic. With ad dollars from local businesses drying up, due to lockdown measures, many smaller publications had to shut down, and Meta viewed this as a chance to make Facebook an even more critical element of community engagement, by providing a direct pathway for independent journalists to serve their audiences through the app.
As part of its initial push, Meta allocated $5 million in funding for local publications to convert to Bulletin instead.
And it sort of worked. Bulletin, at last at one stage, supported over 115 publications, with more than half of the creators on the platform reaching over 1,000 subscribers.
But this year, amid tougher market conditions, Meta lost interest.
The company has been gradually scaling back its investment in news and original content in recent months. Back in July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta had reallocated resources from both its Facebook News tab and Bulletin, in order to ‘heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy’
In other words, Reels – Meta’s main investment focus for the future of the Creator Economy is short-form video content, which drives more views, more engagement, and is the big trend that Meta’s chasing right now.
As a result, Meta says that it will shut down Bulletin by early next year.
As per Meta:
“Bulletin has allowed us to learn about the relationship between Creators and their audiences and how to better support them in building their community on Facebook. While this off-platform product itself is ending, we remain committed to supporting these and other Creators’ success and growth on our platform.”
So long as they create Reels, I guess.
Again, the decision here is no surprise, but it does serve as another reminder that Meta chases whatever trends it can, and it has no real, long-term commitment on any of its new pushes.
Video is the thing, as it has been several times before, and Meta will keep pushing that till audiences lose interest. Then it’ll be something else that Meta’s pitching to brands, publishers, users, etc.
Logically, Meta follows the latest trends in order to maximize the benefit of such within its tools. But it is worth noting that, when it does lose interest, it tends to move on entirely, leaving anyone who’s invested in its last whim out in the cold.
Overall, Bulletin isn’t huge, and it won’t impact a heap of writers and publishers, as such. But even so, for those that have invested in the platform, in good faith, it’s a bitter pill, and while they will now be able to move on to other platforms as well, it’s good to remind yourself that Meta chases trends, and moves on quick.
‘Don’t build on rented land’. ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’. Don’t trust social platforms to keep supporting that feature or platform that you’ve come to rely on.
The closure of Bulletin may seem like a side note to many, but it’s an important reminder that you need to diversify your strategy to avoid such impacts.
Meta Will Shut Down its Newsletter Platform Early Next Year
Instagram Is Now Putting Ads In Your Profile Feed
Wild Google Organic Ranking Swings With Google Algorithm Updates
How to Expand Your eCommerce Business Globally
Content Marketers Share Salaries, Career Paths, and More in 2023 [New Research]
Meta Shares Insights into How Consumers View the Next Big Tech Shifts, Including the Metaverse
Is RankBrain A Ranking Factor In Google Search?
How Computer Vision Paired with AR Can Be Used for Navigation Aide
Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon
Unusual Spike In Google Business Profile Insights Traffic For Some
Explore the Path to Digital Future: Interconnect, Integrate and Innovate
Google Updates Documentation On Meta Descriptions
Daily Search Forum Recap: September 5, 2022
7 Tips For Creating Instagram Story Ads That Convert
How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign
Daily Search Forum Recap: September 30, 2022
Microsoft Advertising Gains Pinterest Import, More Google Imports, & More
Google Again Says Spikes In Crawling Activity Not A Sign Of The Helpful Content Update Rollout
The Ultimate Timeline of Google Algorithm Updates (+ Recommendations)
Confusion Over Google Search Console’s HTTPS Is Invalid And Might Prevent It From Being Indexed