With the ideological vision that some accounts on social media portray, BeReal seemed like a breath of fresh air for those wanting something more authentic and… real. Gen Z users appear to be LOVING IT. But, should organisations be utilising BeReal for brand discovery and promotion?

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 can be at any time of the day, the user has up to 2 minutes to share their photo. Only then, can they see what their friends have posted.

Despite the app being around since 2019, 65% of its lifetime downloads occurred in 2022. In January 2022, there were 756k app installs for BeReal, which increased to 7.7m in June and 14.7m in September. With other social media platforms becoming more complex, the popularity of this simple-concept app is not surprising. Growth of the platform has been largely attributed to word-of-mouth. BeReal also 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.

Here’s two examples of brands who have used been spotted 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?

My answer to this question is, not yet. It’s one to watch. Although we have seen how discount codes and special promotions have been used, according to BeReal’s terms and conditions, users are not allowed to “use BeReal for advertising or commercial purposes.”