Once the trending app of the moment, authenticity-focused social platform BeReal is now struggling to maintain momentum, as users find that sharing a single image of what they’re up to each day isn’t really that engaging, long term.
The hype app of the moment last year, of late, BeReal has been working to expand its use case, as user interest wanes. It’s added Spotify integration to broaden its scope, as well as “Bonus” images to enhance sharing, but neither of these concepts have really caught on, which has seen BeReal stagnate.
Now, it’s hoping to provide more engagement potential, with the addition of a new “Friends of Friends” feed in the app, which will help to expand user networks, and provide more interactive capacity.
As you can see in these images, BeReal’s new “Friends of Friends” tab will enable users to opt into an extra display, in order to share their BeReal snaps with a wider group of users.
If you want.
As explained by BeReal:
“We’ve created the Friends of Friends feed to make it easier to find the people you care about most on BeReal. With the new feed, you’ll get a glimpse into what everyone you may know is up to – in all their authentic glory. Friends of Friends follows our mission to keep you connected with the people you really care about and to continue discovering how we’re all perfectly imperfect.”
The new feed is essentially a refinement of its “Discovery” stream concept, which it’s been experimenting with in recent months. The Discovery feed aimed to highlight some of the most interesting users in the app, as another means to broaden user engagement, but the BeReal team has since found that users would prefer to be connected to people they know, rather than random celebrities in the app, which somewhat lessened its authenticity focus.
As a result, the Discovery experiment is now being shelved, in favor of this new “Friends of Friends” display.
Users will be able to opt-in to have their content shown to more people, while you’ll also be able to remove anyone from your Friends of Friends feed, if you’re not interested in their content.
It’s another reminder of the challenges social apps face in maximizing growth, and tapping into the potential of hyped features.
BeReal’s issue all along has been that it’s more of a feature than a separate app, which has enabled every other social platform, including TikTok and Instagram, to easily replicate its core functionality.
Which likely stole some of its thunder, but really, the main issue for BeReal now is that it’s just not that interesting.
Conceptually, the popularity of the app shows that people do want more authentic content within their social media experience. But posting an image each day is fairly limited in how it portrays such, and is not conducive to longer-term engagement.
Maybe adding an expanded network feed will help, but right now, BeReal is sitting on 20 million daily active users, down from the 73 million monthly actives that it was seeing at peak. Worth noting, too, that BeReal reported hitting 20 million DAU back in April, so it’s not seeing any real growth.
It’s difficult to see how the app will be able to re-ignite that interest. And while 20 million is still a lot of users, it’s only a fraction of what other social apps are seeing, which will limit BeReal’s opportunities going forward.
As such, it’ll need to continue trying to expand its scope, which could also go against its core focus, in facilitating real connections.
In addition to this, BeReal’s also adding pinned posts, which will enable users to share three updates on their profile, mentions, so users can specifically alert friends to their updates, and improved friend recommendations to help expand your network.