The campaign comes as the app “hasn’t cracked the top downloads list in a while,” said Lia Haberman, a brand advisor who teaches social and influencer marketing at UCLA, in an email. “Plus, TikTok discontinued its BeReal clone, TikTok Now, and we haven’t heard a peep about Instagram’s Roll Call, which was supposed to let you send photos or videos to [a] group chat within a five-minute window. The whole time-sensitive photo swap [concept] just seemed to drop off the radar.”
But Haberman also said that BeReal has maintained some of its popularity among pre-teens and teens—as well as their parents. In the comments section of a recent post in Peloton’s official “Mom Group” on Facebook, which Haberman said she joined to “get a pulse on what mainstream middle America moms talk about,” a number of moms who said they heavily restrict their teenagers’ social media use praised BeReal for being more “harmless” and “innocent” than other platforms.
BeReal’s popularity has dipped in the U.S. throughout 2023, steadily declining from nearly 4 million monthly active users in November 2022 to just over 3 million in August 2023, according to Similarweb. Worldwide, the platform has hovered at around 20 million monthly active Android users for the past year, per Similarweb.
BeReal said it has 25 million daily active users around the globe, and its userbase is “the highest it’s been,” Hislop said. The platform declined to share metrics for specific markets such as the U.S.
Though BeReal was first released in France in 2020, the platform only began gaining traction in other parts of the world in mid-2022. People—particularly Gen Z and millennials—flocked to the app for its emphasis on authenticity and the relatively small social circle its model fostered. BeReal took the U.S. by storm in the second half of 2022, briefly climbing to the top spot on Apple’s app store in July and receiving millions of monthly downloads, according to SensorTower data.
Despite BeReal not allowing ads on the platform, a number of brands followed the influx of new users to the app. Chipotle incorporated BeReal into its annual Halloween campaign last year, requiring customers to share a BeReal post of themselves in a Chipotle restaurant to enter its “BooReal” sweepstakes. American Eagle leveraged BeReal in its holiday marketing to promote a different product each day, and brands such as e.l.f Cosmetics and Rare Beauty leaned into behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive promotional codes and humor on the platform as part of their efforts to reach Gen Z.