- Romain Salzman, COO of BeReal, says that the presence of brands and celebrities on its platform cannot be characterized by ostentation.
- Brands have been experimenting with BeReal for a while now, and February 6 won’t be the first time celebrities will hit the platform. Because there are famous names such as Billie Eilish and Joe Jonas among those who use the application unofficially.
- BeReal tries to combat some of the toxicity of legacy social media by preventing the false glorification of everyday life with its dull structure.
Romain Salzman, COO of BeReal, says that the presence of brands and celebrities on its platform cannot be characterized by ostentation. Instead, the spontaneity of the application will strip idolized figures and brands of their grandiose personalities. Jeremy Goldman, senior director at marketing research firm Insider Intelligence, compares BeReal’s new features to Instagram stories. While the Stories feature was designed to highlight the ordinariness and snapshots of everyday life, the presence of celebrities and corporate companies has reshaped the effects of social media. “When celebrities and big creators got involved, the stories became much more compact,” Goldman said. “If all of this goes ‘as planned’ at BeReal, it would be a surprise if there wasn’t some degree of curation.” says.
Brands have been Experimenting with BeReal and February 6th will not be the date when celebrities will enter the platform for the first time. These famous names, including Billie Eilish and Joe Jonas, used the application unofficially. This probably caught BeReal’s attention. For example, a daily BeReal notification was sent out the moment Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was released. Recalling the surprising coincidence of this timing, Salzman gently asks, “Who would have thought?” he asked, implying that this sharing synchronization was intentional. (This despite his official statement claiming he “really didn’t know” when the app notifications were sent.)
“This event was so cool because you could see millions of Swift fans taking a BeReal of the moment they discovered the new album,” Salzman said. “In the future, you can imagine them tagging Taylor Swift in the moment and potentially getting reshared later.” says. Salzman thinks the new feature will add to the fan experience, but declined to answer the question of whether he plans future BeReal notifications around celebrity and brand announcements. MaryLeigh Bliss, YPulse’s chief content officer, says that brands, in particular, should be cautious when using the app. “This must be a promotional moment in some way.” she says she. If the timing of the notification is truly unknown to brands, they will need to work hard to correct the unpredictability of the notification. “I think there’s a lot of structure that can get around these moments, and if you’re a public-facing figure you’re probably going to be really strategic about what you show,” Bliss said. says
The BeReal experience has been significantly different from TikTok and Instagram so far. Both typically host posts saturated with branded content, with heavily filtered faces, digitally altered bodies, tightly edited compositions, spoken-word graphics, all often curated to prioritize the platforms’ public posts. In contrast, BeReal attempts to combat some of the toxicity of legacy social media by preventing its dull nature from falsely glorifying everyday life. French entrepreneur Romain Salzman took over as BeReal’s COO in 2021, nearly a year after BeReal’s initial launch and a year before activity on the platform peaked. In November 2022, 21 percent of North Americans ages 13 to 17 reported using the app, and that same year, BeReal was named “App of the Year” at Apple.
Now the app’s impact on public awareness is waning, with only 10 percent of the same age demographic continuing to use the app. BeReal has been slow to adopt new features, likely to maintain its reputation as a people-first platform. “Within a few years, they realize that their place in the market is not where it should be within the industry,” Goldman said. “The platform has been a little slow to take this money and be open to it.” says. But Goldman says the primitive model is not sustainable from a business perspective. “It’s very difficult to get more money from any investor when you say, ‘We’re fine where we are and we’re happy with it.’ “We’re an afterthought in the social media world, and we’re okay with that.” He says, and states that according to his company’s research, 4% of Generation Z and only 1% of the general population will use BeReal by 2023. “If this is your method, good luck raising a little more money to offer new features.” he adds. While eventual monetization is certainly part of the plan, it’s “definitely not a priority today,” according to Salzman. However, he is determined to maintain the app’s unpretentious reputation.
Compiled by: Burçin Bağatur