BeReal was born with the idea of being an app for sharing candid and authentic photos going against the grain of social networks like Instagram with its increasingly standardized feeds and elaborate planning to make posts viral.
The idea behind BeReal is to share “real life” photos with your friends, that is, what you are doing on a daily basis, in an authentic way and without filters.
But now the social network is rolling out a feature that seems to run counter to the app’s original purpose: RealPeople, a feed of famous people only. The purpose of this feature is to show the day by day of celebrities, inserting a curated timeline of the most interesting people of the moment – from top athletes, entertainers, singers and everything in between.
What is RealPeople?
According to the company “With the BeReal launch, people were eager to share and see an authentic glimpse into their closest friends’ everyday lives, rather than the filtered view we usually show online. RealPeople is our next step in trying to help bring out all the things we love about a connected experience.”
BeReal too clarifies that “RealPeople is not about influence, accumulating likes or comments, or promoting brands. ”You won’t see photoshopped photos, product recommendations, or ads disguised as posts. It’s trying to show that we’re all more alike than we think.”
For now, the app is testing this feature in the UK only, but they will soon roll out the feature across the world. Users who don’t want to view the RealPeople timeline can hide accounts from this new feature. Also, the user can suggest someone for their RealPeople timeline through this form.
So, what will the future of BeReal be?
With the increasing popularity of BeReal last year and an authentic and disruptive social networking model, it was easy to believe that this hype would last for a long time to come and become increasingly popular among young people tired of their fake feeds.
But now that the hype has cooled down, largely due to the lack of updating new features on the platform, BeReal is starting to use the same approaches as other social networks, falling into the trap of celebrity engagement as a way to popularize the social network again.
At the beginning of last month, The New York Times reported that the newness of the app had worn off among key Gen Z demographics, generating a sharp decline in the number of monthly users. “The number of people using the app daily has dropped 61% since its peak, from around 15 million in October to less than six million in March, according to Apptopia, another analytics firm,” wrote Callie Holtermann of the Times.
This shows that to become the next big app, companies need to be quick to differentiate themselves and listen to what users want from new features, while still being true to the initial purpose that made this social network known, and dear, to young people.
That’s what BeReal lacked, listening more to its target audience and continuing with the proposal of authenticity and sharing photos between friends’ feeds.
It’s a shot in the foot!
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