Home BeReal introduces influencer feature in bid to boost engagement

BeReal introduces influencer feature in bid to boost engagement

Brands and celebrities will be able to join BeReal as influencers, as the beleaguered social media platform attempts to regain its market share. From February 6, “RealBrands” or “RealPeople” will be introduced, allowing fans to have access to stars in a way that is supposedly less curated.

The French social media app encourages users to share a photo of themselves and their immediate surroundings given a randomly selected two-minute window every day. Billed as the anti-Instagram, it emerged in 2020, out of a growing call for less artificial content online. However, BeReal is altering its fundamental features by introducing well-known yet unfamiliar individuals.

“RealPeople isn’t about influencing, amassing likes or comments, or promoting brands. You won’t see photoshopped pictures, product recommendations or ads disguised as posts,” the platform stated last year, according to Benzinga.

On its website, the company added, “To qualify for a RealPeople or RealBrand account, you must be a notable person or brand and have an existing BeReal account.” According to TechCrunch, BeReal announced an increase in its daily active users to 23 million, up from 20 million in August, indicating an incremental rise. However, with its growth slowing down, BeReal faces the challenge of user engagement and retaining its audience.

Is BeReal on the decline?

The app achieved remarkable success, with 53 million downloads in October 2022, according to research from Sensor Tower. However, its daily active users significantly declined, with Vogue claiming that it dropped from 20 million in October 2022 to 6 million by March 2023.

In the past year, BeReal also introduced several new features, including groups, mentions, the ability to post multiple times a day, pinned posts, and a “friends of friends” feed. A Pew study estimated that about 13% of U.S. teenagers are using the app.

Around 90% of teenagers use YouTube, making it the most popular platform in the Pew survey. Likewise, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram continue to be favorites among teens. A significant portion of youths aged 13 to 17 report using TikTok (63%), Snapchat (60%), and Instagram (59%). Hence, BeReal seems to be facing challenges in sustaining its initial success.

On top of this, it has been struggling to make money from this model. With RealBrands and RealPeople, users are still required to post spontaneously at the designated time. However, this move towards incorporating brands could be seen as BeReal’s initial step towards generating revenue.

TechCrunch has reported a statement from the company, noting: “For those of you concerned that this is changing our focus, we can assure you that BeReal will always be about friends and close connections first.”

Featured image: Canva / BeReal

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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