Not to say I told you so but I have been saying for ages that BeReal’s golden era simply won’t last. It’s repetitive (please not another WFH picture in front of a laptop), not engaging enough (only permits one photo format and no videos) and it doesn’t allow for advertising which naturally reduces an app’s shelflife. 

Finally, it seems, I am not alone in thinking so. Recent third-party data has shown a dropoff in download growth for the anti-filter app that had strong momentum in 2022. Though beauty brands initially rushed onto the app starting in the second half of last year, activity is possibly slowing down. But brands aren’t giving up yet. 

According to Katelyn Winker, vp of client strategy and services at digital marketing agency Taylor & Pond, BeReal is “still relevant but declining quickly” among Gen Z. A lot of people in college still use it but not nearly as much as a few months ago. It was much more popular when it first came out, and people are starting to stop [using it] because they feel it’s pointless.” 

Due to BeReal’s inability to advertise, it has also meant that many brands have fallen off the wagon. This February 14th only featured one post by a beauty brand: a Valentine’s Day picture from Too Faced. The brand posted again on February 15, along with three others: Innbeauty, Peace Out Skincare, and Alpyn Beauty. Missing were some of the most enthusiastic early beauty adopters, including E.l.f. Beauty and Rare Beauty.  

“On BeReal, we’ve been in double-digit growth across the platform for our brands, in terms of reaction and comments, but we’ve definitely noticed a reduction in the number of posts from other brands,” said Lyndon Robertson, head of social for Ciaté London, Lottie London, Skin Proud and the newly launched brand Hair Proud.

A very shocking statistic was shared on Twitter by VC investor Sasha Kaletsky. The now viral tweet showed a Sensor Tower chart indicating roughly a 95% drop in weekly U.S. downloads from the app’s 2022 peak. To make matters worse, from February 4th to 8th, its ranking among all apps declined from 64th to 109th.

Nevertheless, some brands are staying positive and are yet to experience the consequences of the drastic drop of engagement, perhaps because their content rises above it. Too Faced “has been regularly using BeReal and has seen engagement increase,” said Somer Tejwani, the makeup brand’s svp of global marketing. “At this time, it’s too early to predict what the future holds for brands creating content on the platform, but the low cost and minimal time commitment it takes to execute on BeReal makes it a great option for brands looking to show their fans a peek behind the curtain.”  

According to Tejwani, Too Faced’s “history of being a first mover on social” was also what prompted it to adopt the app.

Furthermore, Evan Horowitz, co-founder of Movers + Shakers, the creative agency that helped set up E.l.f.’s BeReal, is still “bullish about the future of BeReal,” he said. “While the initial growth curve has moderated, our social listening shows a large consumer segment continuing to use BeReal very actively. It scratches an itch that is very different from other social platforms.” The brand posted on the platform for its Super Bowl ad campaign. 

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