By Dan Weiser, Senior Marketing Business Development Executive
Audiences are shining an ever-brightening spotlight on the impact platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have on our mental health. In 2022, there’s growing hype around a new breed of social media app – BeReal.
BeReal allows users to post one photo a day, during a two-minute window which only comes around once per day. Users are requested to share a picture of what they are doing there and then, all their ‘friends’ using the app are notified if they post outside of that two-minute window, or if they retake their picture.
But why exactly has BeReal been gaining popularity, and how long will it last?
To find out, we gathered social conversations about BeReal from January-May 2022. We then uploaded this raw social data into Relative Insight’s text analytics platform and compared the time periods.
Relative Insight’s comparative approach to text analysis pinpoints the linguistic features – the words, phrases, topics, grammar and emotion – that are more prevalent in one data set over another. By layering text analysis on top of social data, our platform is able to function as a social media insights tool. It reveals insights you wouldn’t know to look for and uncovers how social conversations around BeReal have changed over 2022.
Audience conversation between January-March 2022
Compared with almost no mentions in January and February, in March word of BeReal began to spread, with the preposition ‘anti‘ mentioned in relation to BeReal infinitely more so than in other months. Audience discussion referred to its ‘anti-Instagram‘ ethos aimed at promoting authenticity.
The mention of ‘bed‘ in March was used 4.3x more than the months prior – with users talking about the fact that when their window came around, they were often in locations the typical Instagram photo would not be taken from – such as their bed. Users also loved BeReal’s authenticity-promoting feature notifying them of how many ‘retakes‘ other users took before posting.
April 2022 – hype around BeReal grows
By April, social conversations about BeReal were almost five times greater than in March and the hype around BeReal was in full swing – as was talk of said hype. Users used the phrase ‘Bereal hype‘ exclusively in April compared to prior months. Users spoke of their obsession with the app and were 1.4x more likely to mention the app in a loving way.
Audience discussion also began to suggest that the app carried the most weight with the younger generation, with mentions of ‘gen z‘ and ‘young people‘ also made solely in April when compared to previous months of the year, giving us an idea of which audiences the app had really been gaining traction with.
Users losing interest already?
Interestingly, we also noticed that users were 1.8x more likely to discuss the app with growing disinterest in April. A number of people already expressed that they were fed up or annoyed by having to follow BeReal’s need for authenticity. Users began to realize that actually, without as much control over what they and other users were posting, the content they were posting and seeing was boring.
So what could this audience insight mean for the future of BeReal?
May 2022 – do we want authenticity after all?
April’s murmurings of discontent progressed into outright disdain for the app from some users in May, with mentions of ‘hate bereal‘ 7x more likely. Without the freedom to meticulously plan and filter photos, despondent users reached the conclusion that BeReal was making them look unattractive or giving their everyday lives the perception of being boring which, in turn, tainted their view of the app.
While our previous research into gen Z found that authenticity is one of their key beliefs, our analysis of social conversations about BeReal indicate that this is only true to a certain extent when it comes to showing off their lifestyles.
After the initial hype of a new, shiny app receded, gen Z users found that the lifestyle they were portraying on BeReal was ‘boring’ and ‘unattractive’. As much as Instagram and other social media platforms are criticized for their lack of authenticity, it seems that users much prefer the curated windows into their lives they provide, rather than the illumination of the mundane offered by BeReal.
Through analyzing social listening data and comparing conversations over time, our audience insights demonstrate that BeReal is just a bit too authentic for many of its users.