BeReal is real dead

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The Future. BeReal’s moment seems to already be over, with usage cratering 61% this year (which BeReal disputes). BeReal was what many expected it to be: a trend. And that’s because social media is really good at three things: connection, entertainment, and stalking. BeReal’s sidestepping of those three tenants may have built an expiration date right into the code.

Missed appointment
What’s behind BeReal’s decline? Dazed lays it out:

  • The two-minute time limit to post stresses out users, who have no choice but to post if they want to keep browsing the feed — that makes the app feel like “hard work.”
  • Answering things in the moment is stressful for younger users, who liken it to having to answer a call (something no one likes doing unless it’s scheduled).
  • Those pressures force people to phone it in, so they can just keep on scrolling — an experience that makes feeds more “boring” than “authentic.”
  • Because the platform doesn’t have real consequences for users when they don’t post during the allotted time, users just post whenever they’re doing something fun — undermining the platform’s purpose of chronicling what everybody is up to at the exact same time.

Why does BeReal’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it rise and fall matter? The app’s success was so sudden and spectacular that every platform from TikTok to Instagram replicated it. The features didn’t take off on those respective platforms because… well… users were busy enjoying the more entertaining options that were already available on there.

Unvarnished and unscheduled authenticity can only hold attention for so long.

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