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Instagram is over, all we have left is BeReal

The two-year-old social network is experiencing unprecedented success, shaping up as a competitor not to be underestimated

Instagram is over, all we have left is BeReal The two-year-old social network is experiencing unprecedented success, shaping up as a competitor not to be underestimated

A little less than a year ago nss magazine called BeReal the social of honest photos, an app where "there are no likes, there are no followers, there is no illusion of social validation that comes from being better than others. There's just stark, naked reality." One notification a day, two minutes to take a picture - of what you are doing and of yourself - to see what your contacts are up to simultaneously: the workings of the French app represent an elevated and accelerated version of Whatsapp

Almost twelve months later, here we are again talking about BeReal, and the fact that the app has not imploded like Clubhouse says a lot about its evolution. While the mechanism of the platform has remained unchanged, it's the social media landscape that seems to have changed. While influencers and creators with millions of followers sign unprecedented petitions to make Instagram return to what it was, and Gen Z spends their free time on TikTok, last week BeReal became the most downloaded app in the United States, a symptom of a certain shift. As Francesco Oggiano reported in his newsletter, BeReal "to date has about 30 million users, has raised $30 million, will raise another $85 mln, and is valued at $600." Oggiano makes BeReal part of the so-called pop-up socials: "socials that through simultaneous alerts and time limits offer a shared online experience in an increasingly fragmented social landscape. On the one hand, they force you to share something 'real' (with BeReal it's  impossible to pose given the constraint); on the other hand, something immediate that makes you feel part of a group connected with you at that precise moment.

In this sense, BeReal would go down as a successful evolution of Snapchat in its heyday. But there is another element not to be underestimated in the strategy and communication of the platform founded by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau: the way it uses another social, TikTok. Not only because many of BeReal's users also share their screenshots on TT, but because BeReal itself has perfectly understood the language and mechanisms of ByteDance's app, thus succeeding in attracting an increasingly large audience. The bugs, the general functioning of the app, the time at which the notification arrives, the memes: everything contributes to creating an honest and organic narrative of an app that presents itself, proudly, in its first arms and close communication with its users, whose direct feedback, with the inevitable criticism, serves to improve the performance of the social.  

@bereal A community

Posting on TikTok what happens on BeReal, a place that in theory is more private and intimate, however, reveals that ByteDance's app has become for many users the social network of choice to post snippets of their lives, as was once the case on Instagram. While for the moment the entertainment component of TikTok prevails, guaranteed by the app's algorithm itself, one cannot ignore how many users, especially from Gen Z, use it to portray, ironize and downplay the most mundane everyday life. 

@bereal Getting used to is at this point #bereal original sound - DECAF

With Clubhouse now into oblivion, Facebook buried, and Instagram already over according to The Verge, the only socials with still some reason to exist, however different, seem to be TikTok and BeReal. The former is practically a portable TV, to be scrolled through endlessly to entertain oneself and pass the time, the latter is the closest thing to Whatsapp that can exist, more spontaneous and trendy at the moment. A year from now, which one will be left of the two?