Real momentum: Buzzy app BeReal is starting to struggle

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\!/ Time To BeSafe \!/

Damien Kieran, Twitter's ex-chief privacy officer who left the company when Musk took over, has been recruited by BeReal — last year’s official iPhone app of the year. BeReal has been challenged on privacy issues in the past, particularly over concerns about real-time location sharing, but privacy might be just one of its worries at the moment.

The pic-sharing platform, which gives users the same 2-minute window to capture whatever they are up to when the notification hits, may have already had its 15 minutes of fame, as downloads have quickly dropped off.

Building on the buzz

The Paris-based company seemingly emerged out of nowhere, one app in a buzzy new set of stripped-back social media that threatened to upheave the established powerhouses, as younger generations sought authenticity in the carefully-curated world of Instagram and Facebook.

BeReal, which raised $60m last year, properly took off in the summer of 2022, with global downloads peaking in Q3 when the app welcomed more than 40m simultaneous-snappers. Extrapolating from the figures in January, BeReal's downloads are set to drop to just 16m in Q1 this year, according to data from Apptopia via Sifted. And, despite the aforementioned plaudit from Apple itself, BeReal has dropped out of the top 100 on the App Store in recent weeks, per Sensor Tower data.

Like Clubhouse, Vine, Yik Yak, Periscope and many, many other social media apps that briefly caught lightning in a bottle, BeReal may be finding out just how hard it is to maintain the buzz.

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