“Forget about being impressive and commit to being real. Because being real is impressive!” – Jonathan Harnisch
I was sitting at dinner the other night when my friend got a notification on her phone. At first this seemed like a normal occurrence, but much to my surprise, it was far from ordinary. You see the notification she received was from an app known as BeReal. The app prompted her to take a photo of what she was doing, in real time, and post it. What was the catch? She had 2 minutes to do it. With unparalleled excitement, and a touch of urgency, she captured her photo, and the app was satisfied.
As a Social Media Manager, you can imagine how intrigued I was by the entire situation. My friend had just stopped mid-sentence to post to a social media platform because the app told her she only had x amount of minutes to do so. Fascinating. What was even more fascinating was that I learned just how quickly the app is growing. In July alone, BeReal grew 86% in downloads, thus proving that well manicured, overly edited photos may become a thing of the past a lot sooner than expected.
After leaving that dinner, I decided to do a little research of my own. What is this BeReal, and why is it turning into a cultural phenomenon. It didn’t take me long to find out that the answer to that question is simple: authenticity is key. The reason that Kim Kardashian is a huge celebrity is because she is elusive and does post highly edited content. But on the other hand, the reason Chrissy Teigen is a huge celebrity is because she is incredibly forthcoming and authentic on all of her platforms. People are tired of the over-editing and censoring. They want to know what you’re doing right now, and BeReal gives people that chance.
How does all of this relate to business, you ask. BeReal is the next step in showcasing your brand’s authentic identity. Social media became popular amongst businesses because it was a necessity, but it grew into a way to show consumers who you were. This app expands on that concept. You may be in a meeting at times, so a selfie is out of the question, but on the off chance a notification comes through when you’re on location, or in your office, or at a retreat, BeReal gives you the opportunity to show off who your company really is. The great thing about the app is that it will show how many times your photo was taken, so keep it real! You would hate for everyone to know that your brand isn’t being as authentic as they can be.
There are other stipulations associated with the app. If you don’t meet the two minute window, your photo is marked late. In retrospect, it doesn’t feel like a big deal, but the name of the game is post in two minutes or less, so you better be on it. There is also no like feature on the app. You can react to people’s photos, after yours has been posted of course, with a RealMoji, but there is no traditional ‘like button’ tied to the app.
At its core, BeReal is an app that is dedicated to authenticity, something that is sorely lacking in today’s day and age. Will it be the next TikTok? Time will tell. But for now use your two minute window wisely, and always remember to BeReal!
Will you be joining BeReal? Your clock starts….now!