The company explains this experience offers users a chance to show off who they really are.
The concept itself is not entirely novel. Besides Frontback’s use of dual cameras, a similar idea involving push notifications emerged amid a wave of apps trying to siphon users away from Instagram a few years ago.
Plus, while Minutiae would allow users to browse strangers’ photos from around the world BeReal more squarely aims itself at groups of real-life friends.
There is some demand for new photo-sharing apps among younger users who are getting fed up with Instagram’s constant changes, its cramming in of new features like Reels and Shopping, and its overly-polished creator content. Other apps, like Minutiae and BeReal, have also experimented with unique photo-sharing experiences in an attempt to lure users away from Instagram with varying degrees of success.
There is nothing really wrong with paid user acquisition — this is how the app ecosystem works, after all. Besides, some paid users become engaged and loyal. That’s the goal!
BeReal is so far finding success with this model: Apptopia says daily active users have reached 2.93 million as of the time of writing.
It also has a 4.8 rating across nearly 22,000 user reviews on the App Store and a 4.5 rating across nearly 15,000 reviews on Google Play. It’s the No. 4 Overall app in the U.S. App Store right now.
The latter may actually work if the hype puts the app in front of users who end up charmed by the experience and stay with it.
BeReal likely has a good bit of user acquisition fuel ahead of it. And since its gimmick involves turning on push notifications, it could retain loyal users over time. But it has a long way to go to prove that it can become a part of users’ everyday rotation — something that we won’t know until the paid acquisition efforts slow and the app is left to fend for itself in the competitive landscape.
Okay, why not!