BeReal may capture a social-media future without ads

Brands want BeReal to be the next big social media player.

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BeReal may capture a social-media future without ads


The Future. Brands want BeReal to be the next big social media player, giving them the opportunity to get those coveted Gen Z eyeballs before the platform becomes too saturated. The problem is that BeReal’s platform is antithetical to the tenants of advertising — capturing as many eyeballs for as long as possible. As BeReal looks for a monetization plan, the best way to find success may be by leaning into the tenants that make the platform fresh — appointment viewing for the social media age.

Brands out of frame
BeReal doesn’t want ads… and may not even be the right place for them.

  • Per Digiday, the once-a-day photo-sharing platform has captured 73.5 million users, so advertisers like Chipotle, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Shake Shack have followed them there.
  • But there’s little for them to do (and limits to how many friends they can add), so they’ve creatively started using the platform to offer discount codes and other ephemeral content.
  • But BeReal doesn’t allow for traditional ads (it says so in its user agreement) and has said it’s “heads down, focused on the product and the mission.”
  • Additionally, it makes little sense for advertisers to push in all their chips on BeReal — the platform is designed for people to spend minimal time on it.

Analysts believe that the app will eventually opt into finding a way to paywall bonus features instead of turning to ads (this is a platform built on authenticity, after all).

It mimics what the big players are already doing — monetizing influencers just as the ad market slows down and measurement tracking gets kneecapped by Apple and Google.

Hurry up and get paid
But with $60 million in funding after a Series B round (which analysts expect to give the company a valuation of over $600 million), investors will eventually want to see a return on BeReal. We’ve been through an era of growth for growth’s sake for the past decade, and Wall Street has turned sharply away from that ethos. Now, the plan for actually making a profit rules the roost.

And with the flash-in-the-pan popularity of Clubhouse showing what happens when you don’t find a way to monetize in time, BeReal may have no choice but figure out how to turn users into dollars. Or it may just have to watch its features get co-opted by copycats from TikTok and Instagram.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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