BeReal is piloting its new Bonus BeReal feature in the U.K. Expected to roll out soon in other countries, this allows users to post more than once per day — you get two Bonus BeReal posts if you manage to upload on time during the two-minute daily window, and one extra post if you miss the window. Your Bonus BeReal can be posted whenever you desire.
BeReal went viral last year for its refreshingly authentic approach to social media. Each day at a random time, all users are prompted with a notification that it is “time to BeReal” — in other words, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and within two minutes, take a front and back camera photo to share with your friends. Instead of only seeing the highlights of our friends’ lives on their Instagram story, we might see BeReal posts of people watching Netflix on the couch, or folding laundry.
While some users embrace the reminder that there’s more to life than our most picturesque moments, other users have opted to just wait and post their daily BeReal when they’re doing something interesting, which sort of defeats the app’s purpose of encouraging authenticity. Also, it’s kind of boring to see that your friends are at work at 2 PM on a Tuesday.
“We’ve all been there…” BeReal wrote in a blog post. “The BeReal notification goes off before we’re at the concert, out to dinner, or connecting with family and friends, and we’re faced with the ultimate decision: post late or miss the moment.”
The Bonus BeReal feature almost feels like a concession that many users are just posting late anyway, since the consequences for missing the two-minute window are so minimal. Now, users will be incentivized to post on time if they can, since they’ll get not one, but two Bonus BeReal posts. It’s a clever way to boost engagement, but it could also shift the app’s culture.
As BeReal took over app store charts and faced copycat features from TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, the team behind the impromptu photo sharing app was unusually quiet. The France-based startup refused to talk on the record to the press and stayed out of any discourse around the app (and there was a lot — it was even the subject of a “Saturday Night Live” skit). Now, along with the announcement of Bonus BeReal, the company is breaking its silence by announcing that it has 20 million daily active users (DAUs).
Our sources also told us in October that BeReal had 20 million DAUs; plus, we learned that BeReal closed a $60 million Series B round at a $587 million valuation. Today’s 20 million DAU figure could be additional confirmation of that same data point we received six months ago. Or, it could be a sign that growth has slowed. BeReal claimed that previous reports of the app’s DAUs were not accurate, and that growth has remained steady.
Update, 4/24/23, 9:40 AM ET with additional comment from BeReal.