TikTok was pitched as the antithesis of Instagram in 2020 – and while it also has its own issues, more so in terms of trolling and online hate – its focus on casual, off-the-cuff, and authentically-created content is a large part of its success. TikTok’s growth appears to have inspired the creation of BeReal, a new photo-sharing app that shares a similar concept. In short, it asks users to share two photos (taken from their front and back cameras) of whatever they are doing in the moment they receive a daily notification.
Poparazzi is another app that focuses on candid photo sharing, enabling users to create a photo feed that only their friends can post to. But while Poparazzi enjoyed a spurt of popularity last year, it has since been overshadowed by BeReal. According to Apptopia, 65% of BeReal’s lifetime downloads have taken place in 2022, with its monthly active users growing 315% in the year-to-date.
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Potentially, but alongside the demand for authentic photo-sharing, BeReal could generate long-term retention due to the fact that it is habit-forming, with users becoming hooked on its once-a-day push notification prompting them to partake.
It’s unlikely that it will rival TikTok, as there’s a chance that its (deliberate) limitations could eventually hinder overall engagement and growth – but then again, an expansion or change to the format is likely, if indeed it takes off.
Anyone offers five-minute audio advice as part of the ‘passion economy’
Influencers are a big part of social media, but push-back against inauthentic and shallow marketing activity has undoubtedly surged in the past few years, while a drive for more expert-led learning content has increased. Tom Jarvis, Founder & CEO of Wilderness Agency, predicted this back in 2021, telling Econsultancy that the digitisation of education is likely to “filter down in the type of content people want to consume and a shift in the traditional influencer model from what I would call “product placement” to “instruction as influence.”
Indeed, we are now seeing further evidence of this in the creation of social apps like Anyone – a new short-form audio app that describes itself as a ‘marketplace for five-minute conversations, enabling millions of people to monetise their knowledge in a creative way, while helping millions more to save time, learn, and get inspired.’
The marketplace is built on the premise that with so much noise online – particularly on social media – it can be difficult to provide genuine and human advice, and more importantly, to capture somebody’s undivided attention. A five-minute one-to-one phone call enables a more human connection, and differs from other mediums such as video, which can be too distracting, and other time-consuming formats that are difficult to fit into the schedules of experts. It also builds on growth of social audio, which we’ve already seen from the continued popularity of podcasts as well as the brief successes of platforms such as Clubhouse and Beams.
Again, like BeReal’s once-a-day notification, Anyone’s five-minute angle aims to leave users wanting more, with the hope that this limit will also fuel transactions on the platform. At the same time, it is designed to give people an easy and accessible way to give back, simply by giving them a tool to do so. Speaking on the Scandinavian MIND podcast, founder David Orlic said: “We envision Anyone as this ‘link in bio’ type of infrastructure, where you can just direct people there any time someone DM or emails you asking for something quick. You can just say ‘my calendar is a mess – I’m on Anyone.’”