Celebrities and brands are about to become a reality. Are they real?

Salzman said the presence of brands and celebrities on his platform will not be characterized by flashiness. Instead, the spontaneous nature of the app will strip these iconic figures and brands of their glamor and larger-than-life persona.

Timing is everything

Jeremy Goldman, senior director at marketing research firm Insider Intelligence, compared the goals of BeReal’s new feature to those of Instagram’s Stories. While the purpose of the story is to highlight casual, off-the-cuff snapshots of everyday life, the presence of public figures and corporate entities reshapes their impact. “When celebrities and major creators are involved, the story becomes more curated,” Goldman said. “It would be a surprise if some degree of curation didn’t end up happening [on BeReal] If this all goes according to plan. “

Brands have been trying BeReal for some time. February 6 wasn’t the first time celebrities logged on. Public figures including Billie Eilish and Joe Jonas have unofficially used the app, and BeReal has also worked (presumably unofficially) with celebrities Have collaborated at will.

For example, daily BeReal photo tips are released to coincide with the release of Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated album, 1989 (Taylor version). Recalling the astonishing serendipity of the timing, Salzman coyly asked, “Who would have thought,” subtly suggesting that the synchronicity was intentional. (Although the app’s official statement claims it “really doesn’t know” when to send notifications).

“It’s wonderful because you can see millions of Swifties enjoying BeReal the moment they discover the new album,” Salzman said. “In the future, you could imagine them tagging Taylor Swift in that moment and then potentially being retweeted.” Salzman believes the new feature will add to the fan experience, but declined to answer whether he plans to align future BeReal notifications with celebrities and brands Schedule together with the announcement.

YPulse chief content officer MaryLeigh Bliss said brands must be particularly cautious when using the app. “It must be a promotional moment in some ways,” she said. If brands truly don’t know the timing of notifications, they have to work to correct for the unpredictability of notifications—after all, a brand’s social media manager is unlikely to be spotted in a competitor’s store.

“I think there’s a lot of building that can be done around these moments,” Bliss said. “And I think if you’re a public-facing figure, you can be very strategic about what you present.”

filter bubble

So far, the BeReal experience has been very different from the TikTok and Instagram experiences. Both typically offer feeds filled with heavily filtered faces, digitally altered bodies, heavily edited compositions, lengthy graphics and branded content, all curated in a way that often prioritizes the most objective on the platform. post. By contrast, BeReal, with its charmingly dull style, attempts to combat some of the toxicity of traditional social media by discouraging the false glorification of everyday life.

French entrepreneur Romain Salzman became BeReal COO in 2021, about a year after the app first launched and a year before activity on the platform peaked — 21% of North Americans aged 13 to 17 in November 2022. Reports were made using the app, and that same year it was named Apple’s “App of the Year.”

Now, its grip on public consciousness is waning. Only 10% of the same people still use the app. BeReal has been slow to adopt new features, possibly to maintain its reputation as a people-centered platform. “They realize that after a few years their market penetration is not where it should be,” Goldman Sachs said. “The platform has been a little slow in accepting the money.”

But Goldman Sachs said the original model was unsustainable from a business perspective. “When you say ‘we’re totally fine with where we are now,’ it’s hard to get more money from any investor. In the social media world, we’re an afterthought, but we don’t mind that.” he said, noting that according to his company’s research, 4% of Gen Z use BeReal as of 2023, compared with only 1% of the general population. “If that’s your goal, then good luck raising more money to roll out new features.”

Salzman said that while eventual monetization is certainly part of the plan, it’s “definitely not a priority today.” Still, he’s committed to maintaining the app’s no-frills reputation.

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