BeReal and brands… do they mix?


If you haven’t heard of BeReal… where have you been?

It’s the new app that has taken the world of social media by storm, offering a completely new way to share images with friends. Particularly popular within the Gen Z community, the app takes it back to basics and sends a notification at a random time each day, encouraging users to take a picture of exactly what they’re doing within the same 2-minute time frame.

So far, BeReal has stated that their app is purely for users and that they have no plans for any type of advertising on the platform. So, does this mean that businesses are completely off limits from using it?

Well, brands like Chipotle and E.L.F Cosmetics have ignored BeReals’s anti-advertising ethos, and are using the social network to promote unique discount codes and share more rough and ready content to connect and engage with their audience.

Even though direct advertising is prohibited, they still use the app to their advantage by promoting behind the scenes office life, giving their audience an insight into what working with them is like, perhaps as a recruitment tool more than anything.

Whilst this works for showcasing their brand personality and shows a more authentic side to the business, a lot of users disagree with brands infiltrating the app. Critics believe it should remain a place for friends and family to share their lifestyle with each other, leaving other social networks such as Instagram, for brand discovery and promotion.

My take on it, as both a loyal BeReal user and Social Media Manager, is that we should keep the social platform untouched by brands. The world needs at least one corner of the internet that is just for friends to connect with each other.

I think brands are currently feeling the pressure to jump on any new trend as an attempt to stay relevant, but the latest conversations around BeReal suggest that users are enjoying sharing humorous content with their friends without any interjections from businesses trying to hanker for their attention. That’s how it should stay.

But where do influencers fit into this? Influencer marketing is becoming one of the top forms of advertising across social media, with marketers putting more and more of their budget into partnering with them. However, BeReal have also asked that influencers ‘stay on TikTok and Instagram’ keeping to the platform’s authentic and raw ethos.

But BeReal is only getting more and more popular so I’m excited to see how the platform will develop in the future and what opportunities it may hold for brand building and product placement.

Photo by Shawn Fields on Unsplash