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TikTok and Instagram are struggling to keep up with BeReal’s influence among Gen Z – this is why

Posted by Dina Zubi in Comment

3 weeks ago

BeReal is the social media platform on everyone’s lips at the moment, and influencers have started sharing their content from the app on TikTok and Instagram in their droves.

This follows the “photo dump” trend – where users share a random collection of recent photos in a carousel – and the prominence of a more casual Instagram aesthetic, as we see a renewed interest in a less curated, more authentic depiction of life through social media feeds.

For the uninitiated, BeReal is an image sharing app which sends a daily alert to users to take a photo, on both your front and back camera simultaneously. Designed to challenge the overly edited content on other platforms, BeReal only allows two minutes to take the photo once you have opened the app, and will notify your followers if you’re late posting.

However these posts are no longer kept within the app, creators are posting their BeReals on Instagram as a way to keep their followers up to date and share an unfiltered look into their day-to-day life in contrast with their professional Instagram social strategies.

Glasgow-based Aicha posted a BeReal with friends as part of a “week in the life” photo dump, while stylist Mira Al-Momani has started sharing her BeReals on Instagram in a series she calls StayReal. Author Reni Eddo-Lodge also joined in on the trend and shared her dual camera snap taken at her live book event to celebrate selling a million copies of her book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

Meanwhile on TikTok, influencers are sharing carousels of their recent BeReal’s. Lifestyle vlogger Kate Elisabeth Shillitoe shares a monthly BeReal summary – her June post featured fellow vlogger Lewys Ball, while her August video included a day out at Notting Hill Carnival.

 

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A post shared by AICHA (^з^)-☆ (@chicgyalxo)

Another popular BeReal format on TikTok is screen recording while taking the dual camera picture, like Brighton-based Alice McDonald did with her Eiffel Tower image, which has been viewed almost 10 million times. Other TikTokers have gone viral for sharing BeReal’s taken at awkward moments such as funerals, or for asking strangers to take their daily picture – the app sends a notification to post once a day, the timing of which cannot be changed.

The popularity of BeReal evidently has other social media platforms on edge as well. Snapchat has started rolling out its dual camera setting, which was first announced in April 2022.

Instagram also recently announced the launch of its dual camera feature, which allows users to take images and Stories using both the front and back camera at once. Then, news emerged that the platform was also internally prototyping “IG Candid”, a daily photo prompt at a random time. Sound familiar?

@kateelisabethh

it’s been an interestinf month to say the least …

♬ woo x i was never there – xxtristanxo

According to Business of Apps, BeReal’s usage increased by 315% from 2021 to 2022 – downloads increased by 1000%. It now boasts over 21 million monthly active users and became the most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store in the US in July 2022.

Instagram and Snapchat’s copycat new features could pose a threat to BeReal, but it seems the newcomer has found success with Gen Z social media users keen to engage with its easy, simple format. BeReal’s rapid popularity is proof that the days of the heavily edited posts seen on other platforms are numbered, and established social platforms will have to do better than simply adding a dual camera feature if they want to keep up.

By Dina Zubi, staff writer at CORQ. Picture credit: Mira Al-Momani via Instagram