Of all the social media platforms, Instagram definitely seems to have the biggest hold on our industry. Brands and designers work hard to showcase their offerings on purposely honed profiles. It’s where many come together to catch up with clients and friends, through DM or a live feature. It’s even where some brands are conducting sales, taking advantage of the money Meta is pouring into Instagram’s e-commerce capabilities. Right now, there’s arguably no better place to be.
But for some Gen Zers (and other generations of users too), Instagram’s antics are getting old. Between pushing hard on the video capabilities and constantly changing its algorithms, the platform is causing users to look elsewhere for an experience that’s less—what do the kids say these days?—“extra.”
We’ve already discovered that many Gen Zers aren’t interested in the highly edited, glossified, and perfected images so many users put out there on Instagram. They want more transparency and connection—and aren’t interested in just the highlight reels.
So when BeReal started trending in the App Store, it wasn’t particularly surprising.
Founded in December 2019 by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, BeReal asks its users to share one photo per day, unedited and in real time. It alerts users through a push notification to post a photo of whatever it is they’re doing at the moment, upon which they have two minutes to do so, and that’s it. That’s the concept.
Which is pretty intriguing if you think about it. Aimed at connecting real friends, it seems like a fun way to check in with others—friends can comment and react with “RealMojis,” and the app even builds out a calendar so you can see what you were doing every day. Basically, if you can remember to do your daily Wordle, you can probably do this.
The app’s skyrocketing popularity, it should be noted, doesn’t appear to have come organically. A college ambassador program has students reportedly paid to refer the app to friends, with organized events designed to recruit new users. This isn’t really far from the norm of what other apps do from time to time, but we’ll have to wait until the college ambassador programs are over (in June) to see if the growth sustains.
Still, the app is currently ranked No. 2 in Apple’s App Store for social media (and No. 4 overall, right under TikTok) and has 4.8 stars from more than 23,000 rankings. Like I said, intriguing.
Especially for jewelers. Can you imagine? Sharing your day at the store, working behind the bench, an outing for inspiration? It seems like an interesting place to connect. And if the app takes off, it might just be a great place to connect with your future customers. Though BeReal is aimed at friends at the moment, these things tend to evolve as long as making money remains the ultimate goal (and, isn’t it always?).
If it’s trending in the App Store, it couldn’t hurt to download the app and poke around. You never know what will grab hold, and being an early adopter of a successful platform could be one of the best ways to score new customers (and friends!).
Top photo via BeReal on the App StoreFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine