Created in 2020 by two French people, the BeReal application found itself at the top of downloads for several days in July on the App Store in the United States. His anti-Instagram approach appeals to young Americans.
While well-established social networks are shaking at the rise of TikTok, which passed the 3.5 billion download mark in the first quarter of 2022 according to the firm Sensor Tower, other platforms are also trying to play their cards right. to nibble market share from Facebook, Twitter or even Snapchat. Among the social networks that have the wind in their sails, there is in particular the BeReal application. And cocorico, she is French!
Indeed, BeReal was created in 2020 under the impetus of Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, both of whom went through the famous school 42 of Xavier Niel. Its concept is simple: every day, at a different time, app users receive a notification inviting them to take and post two photos in two minutes, using their smartphone’s outdoor camera to share their current activity on the vivid and the front camera to show their face without filter. If users do not comply with the exercise, they cannot see the images published by their contacts.
An alternative to the side fake and Instagram’s FOMO syndrome
With this approach, BeReal intends to differentiate itself from applications like Instagram or TikTok, fighting against the side fake publications, in which users, and even more so influencers, stage themselves in dream places or at trendy events that cultivate the FOMO syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out, “the fear of missing something” in French ). By giving its users two minutes to publish their two photos, the French social network does not give its users time to wear makeup or dress up to show themselves in the light that suits them. It is also not possible to use filters on his face.
With BeReal, the key word is authenticity. “BeReal will not make you known or famous, if you want to become an influencer, you can stay on TikTok and Instagram”, can we also read in the description of the application on the App Store. And indeed, the tricolor application is positioned as an anti-Instagram, a social photo network transformed by Meta into a kingdom of fakeof the likes and influencers, who don’t hesitate to copy the functionalities of competing platforms like Snapchat, TikTok and even BeReal. Indeed, Instagram now offers the Dual feature, which allows users to use both the front and rear cameras of the smartphone.
Instagram is the most popular photo and video sharing social network, you can access it through your internet browser or the official mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Release date :
Internet – Photography – Communication
Operating system :
Android, Online service All Internet browsers, iOS iPhone / iPad
$600 million valuation
If the French application is already copied by Instagram, it is because it is currently very popular in the United States. It even found itself at the top of downloads for several days in July on the App Store in the land of Uncle Sam, in particular with 1.7 million downloads during the week of July 11, according to the firm Sensor Tower. The latter also estimates that BeReal has been downloaded more than 20 million times since its creation. According to data from Apptopia, the French application is even about to cross the bar of 30 million downloads.
BeReal’s success does not go unnoticed in the American press. the New York Times calls this new app *”the most boring but fun social media around”*, while Wired believes that this “trendy anti-Instagram app is the natural next step in a social media cycle that’s repeated itself many times before, and it’s unlikely to work”. The social network made in France also caught the eye of the famous American fund Andreessen Horowitz, alias a16z, which participated in a $30 million fundraising round for the Paris-based company, alongside players such as Accel Partners and New Wave. The application would now be valued at 600 million dollars according to Business Insiderafter a new funding round of 85 million dollars completed last May, in particular with DST Global, the investment fund of Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.
But beyond the money and its current good momentum, the challenge for BeReal is not to be a mere ephemeral phenomenon, as Clubhouse was able to be during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this sense, it will already have to overcome the technical problems induced by its strong growth, which puts its servers to the test, with sometimes bugs which can hinder the operation of the application. BeReal will also have to find a profitable model in the long term, which seems complicated for the time being when users only connect once a day to the application to post their photos and see the activity of their contacts.