‘Anti-Instagram’ app BeReal is leading the App Store despite its flaws

The BeReal social network app, dubbed the “anti-Instagram”, has rapidly gained popularity in recent weeks, not even with the many complaints from users about its unstable performance. the app crashes in no time.

Image source: play.google.com

The concept of the service is very interesting: all users of the platform take their photos every day during a randomly selected two-minute window. In practice, the system often fails because it hardly supports the load when everyone tries to upload their photos to the platform at the same time. For those who don’t have time to post a photo before the deadline, the app assigns an embarrassingly late tag.

All this does not bother the users of the service. this week, the application was in the first place in the American ranking of the Apple App Store for three days. According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, the app received 1.7 million installs in the week beginning July 11 alone.

BeReal’s boom is somewhat reminiscent of the early history of Instagram and Twitter, both platforms often floundering in the beginning due to the influx of users. Current leaders have been able to adapt and survive, but BeReal, facing fierce competition on social media, has yet to prove that this is more than a passing fad.

The service was created in France in 2020 by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreat and Romain Salzman. The BeReal project managed to raise $85 million from various investors, led by DST Global, and today the service is valued at $600 million, according to Insider.

After becoming popular in France, the app began to take off in the United States, where it was popular with the student community. According to many users, its appeal lies in the fact that it deliberately contrasts with Instagram’s refined aesthetic*. Users publish their messages only once a day when they receive a message from the service; with the press of a button on the screen, two photos are taken at once, with the front and rear cameras.

And here the difficulties begin. People have to restart the unstable app multiple times trying to get there in time to avoid getting the infamous lag tag. In the first two weeks of July alone, complaints about bugs and app performance drops increased by 254%, while the share of negative reviews was 56.4% in May, according to analytics platform Apptopia.

However, all these difficulties do not deter users from the project. they continue to post their photos daily. BeReal users show greater attachment to the service than most popular social networks; After 7 days of use, 50% of app installers continue to use the app, compared to a market average of 37%. And only after 30 days, the shares of loyal users stabilize at 35% and 34%, respectively.

* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations, regarding which the court made a final decision to dissolve or ban the activity, based on No.

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