With the ideological vision that some accounts on social media portray, BeReal seemed like a breath of fresh air for those of us wanting something more authentic and… real. Or, you might just be really nosey and want to see what your friends are doing every day? Either way, you’ve probably heard of BeReal. Gen Z users are LOVING IT, with Mintel reporting that Gen Z wants real, authentic representation on social media. But, should brands be utilising BeReal for their brand discovery?

What is BeReal?

BeReal first launched in December 2019 and has been a hit with millions of users. The idea is simple. Users can post an unedited photo of themselves once per day after receiving a push notification. Once the alert has been sent out, which is at a different time every day, the user has up to 2 minutes to share their photo. Only then, can they see what their friends have posted.

In January 2022, there were 756k app installs for BeReal, which increased to 7.7m in June and 14.7m in September. Despite the app being around since 2019, 65% of its lifetime downloads occurred in 2022. With other social media platforms becoming more and more complex, the popularity of this simple-concept app is not surprising. However, the growth of the platform has previously been attributed to word-of-mouth. They released a campaign in the US to increase growth through a college ambassador programme.

Due to BeReal’s reliance on push notifications and its ability to become a part of its user’s daily routine, it could retain loyalty in its users. However, only 9% of users open the app daily, compared to 39% of Instagram users. So, the jury is still out on the future of BeReal.

Social media is always evolving, so does it make sense to completely change your marketing strategy just because a new platform has a surge in popularity? Unfortunately, we can’t answer that question for you. But what we can do is look at how a small minority of brands are using BeReal.


The popular Mexican food chain trialled BeReal very early on. They shared a limited-offer reusable promo code on their BeReal account back in April 2022. For four days, Chipotle offered the first 100 consumers to use the code a free starter. This was one of the first brand marketing campaigns featured on the platform.

The approach is a great way to incentivise your customers to follow you on the platform and shows a level of personality behind the brand. Consumers are able to gain further insight into the operations and products of Chipotle, but there is also a risk of countering the authenticity of the platform.

e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f Cosmetics launched their BeReal account called @elfyeah earlier in 2022. Followers received exclusive access to behind-the-scenes product drops, photo shoots and special offers. “In the age of authenticity, followers of @elfyeah can expect to see a mix of unfiltered, unretouched moments at e.l.f. headquarters and in-the-moment messages to connect with our superfans,” said Laurie Lam, Chief Brand Officer, e.l.f. Beauty.

Should brands be using BeReal?

First of all, the question is whether brands should be present on BeReal? And if they should, what does this presence look like? Social Media Managers are often burdened with trying to figure out what platform is going to provide them with the biggest return.

Currently, there is no obvious way that brands can move onto BeReal. This does not mean that no one is trying, however. One concern is that the appeal of BeReal for its users is its simplicity and authenticity. So, if curated and paid content starts to move onto the platform, will this have an effect on how people perceive the app? It is clearly not an app designed for brand discovery (…yet). Potentially the app will adapt to accommodate brands in the future. As shown, the use of discount codes and special promotions seems to be the way to entice users to follow brands on BeReal. According to BeReal’s terms and conditions, users are not allowed to “use BeReal for advertising or commercial purposes.”

Therefore, it seems like it will not be featured in too many brands’ marketing strategies in the near future. But as we all know, you have to expect the unexpected in social media.

Do you envision BeReal housing brands in the future, or will the simplicity and lack of curated content remain?

Tinisha Osu is a Marketing Executive with two degrees in Psychology. She is the first-author of a published psychology paper and is beginning her career in marketing through blog-writing, creating social media content and running marketing campaigns.