As BeReal has reportedly surpassed the 50 million users mark, the great tech ‘circle jerk’ of 2022 continues, with big social media and content platforms snatching ideas and concepts from each other in an effort to claw back users.
The insatiable need for platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube to feed on each other and replicate features they see as successful for competitors goes against BeReal’s core philosophy: a gamified social media app that incentivises being real in the moment, with a limited assortment of features. Core, perhaps, to BeReal’s growth.
But despite reports BeReal is experiencing such growth, it isn’t safe in its niche. Instagram and TikTok both have their own BeReal clones now and I wouldn’t put it past Twitter and YouTube to pull off a similar copy.
Actually, just today, it was announced that YouTube would be implementing a “handle” feature to make channels and users stand out similarly to those on TikTok. YouTube, in particular, has seen a lot of success in copying TikTok with its “shorts” video format, integrated with the larger YouTube video platform.
Perhaps BeReal’s user base will fizzle out, like the ‘Clubhouse’ live audio app that was made popular during the height of the pandemic (and was also copied without remorse). That’s what findings from Sensor Tower would indicate, at least.
According to the research, BeReal only saw a daily open rate of 9 per cent of its users in 2022’s third quarter, despite having 50 million users. Comparatively, 39 per cent of Instagram users open the app every day and 29 per cent of TikTok users open the app daily.
Will users get bored of BeReal and move onto other platforms for a similar experience? If the fall of Clubhouse is any indicator, one of the social media giants might be able to replicate its features in a way that’s satisfying to that platform’s user base.
For example, as we said earlier, YouTube Shorts is a remarkably easy and lightweight way for YouTube creators to sweat their content into a short-form video format. The category racks up some 1.5 billion monthly users, which is a pretty good indicator of success.
Meanwhile, the DNA of Clubhouse can be seen in Twitter Spaces. Recently, Twitter evolved the “Spaces” section to also incorporate podcasts.
So, let’s BeReal here. Will the latest viral app continue to thrive? It’s difficult to say: people were sceptical of TikTok back in 2020 and look at where we are now.
I guess it all comes down to if the 50 million-large BeReal user base gets bored or not.
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