April 22, 2022

Today's Topics

Happy Friday! We have 3 charts for you today:

  • BeReal. Stripped back social media apps are getting popular.
  • Earth Day. How are emissions looking post COVID?
  • Chick-fil-A. The fast food restaurant is keeping things simple... and it's working.
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The last thing you probably feel like you need right now is another social media app to spend your time scrolling on. Which is exactly why the recent rise of app BeReal is so interesting.


Every day, at a completely different time, everyone on BeReal is notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo. Sounds like a simple (and annoying) notification — but the kicker is that you only have 2 minutes to do so.

The idea is that the spontaneity removes the ability for users to "airbrush" their life. Having a dull lunch? Take a photo of that. Doing homework? That's fine. On a long car journey? Snap a pic. BeReal claims to be a "new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life" (without just hanging out with them of course).

Simpler times

Both BeReal and Dispo, which is another app that raised $20m of investment last year for its vintage-inspired platform, are tapping into a feeling of nostalgia for when things were a little simpler... even if their biggest user base (Gen-Z) can't remember a time before the internet.

Search traffic on Google for BeReal has exploded, and downloads hit more than 2 million in March, with early April data looking even higher (source: Axios).

Go deeper: BeReal: the saviour of social media, or a dystopian nightmare?

Today is Earth Day, an annual event now in its 52nd year that is focused on celebrating our planet and championing sustainable environmental practices - a part of the celebration that has taken on a significant amount of urgency in recent years.

The carbon comeback

Last Earth Day there was, somewhat ironically, something to celebrate. Data and estimates from the IEA show how global energy-related emissions in 2020 had fallen by a record amount as the pandemic ground our global economy to a halt.

Unfortunately this year the news isn't quite as optimistic — the same data shows a bounce back in net global energy-related emissions for last year that was more than equal to the drop from 2020. One of the very few silver linings from the pandemic has been erased.

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Chicken sandwiches are big business

America loves Chick-fil-A.

This week the fast food company disclosed that it had sold more than $16.7 billion worth of food across its restaurants in 2021, up more than 20% on last year's haul of $13.7bn — putting Chick-fil-A near the very top of the fast food food chain, behind only the golden arches and Starbucks in terms of US sales.

Closed on Sundays

A typical Chick-fil-A (outside of a mall location), turns over more than $8 million a year (source), which is a staggering amount on its own — and more than any other major fast food chain — but gets even more staggering when you remember that those sales are crammed into just 6 days a week. As tradition has long dictated at Chick-fil-A, all of its restaurants are closed on Sundays.

So why is Chick-fil-A doing so well?

The obvious answer is... delicious food. But the business model deserves some credit too. Chick-fil-A has a fairly unique franchise system — the company typically only lets owners own one franchise location (as opposed to multiple). In theory that could have limited the company's growth, but it also means Chick-fil-A franchisees are laser focused on their one store. The stellar sales numbers suggest it can't have hurt too much.

More Data

1) CNN+ is the latest victim of the streaming wars. The service is being shutdown just 3 weeks after its launch. All told the investment from CNN equated to an eye-watering cost of more than $9 million per day it was live.

2) The 20-mile long Large Hadron Collider has had a revamp and is expected to restart on Friday, as scientists resume their quest for a fifth force of nature.

3) Elon Musk's other other company, The Boring Company, has raised $675m at a $5.7bn valuation to fund more of its underground transportation tunnels.

4) How do you win the attention war as a B2B team in 2022? You get some help from our friends at Turtl who have dug into the underlying psychology of attention, to drive better B2B content.**

5) Tourism startup Space Perspective has unveiled designs of its planned stratospheric capsule which it hopes will give tourists a panoramic 30km view above the Earth.

6) Our office obsession today is this simple test in which you have to think of 10 words that are as different as possible from each other. Our top score was 94.4.

**This is sponsored content.

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