No doubt you’ve seen the innumerable recent hot takes about BeReal. The French photo app, launched in early 2020 as a kind of stripped-down antidote to Instagram-style excess and gloss, prompts users to post a photo only once a day. Not only is the interface designed specifically to discourage the kind of influencer building that has been a core feature of social media for more than a decade, the app’s developers promise that “BeReal won’t make you famous.”
Online chatter about BeReal has been mixed, with some praising the app as a quaint throwback to the early internet and others claiming it doesn’t quite live up to its promise of authenticity. However, since it appears to be a hit with younger users, BeReal will inevitably stoke the curiosity of everyone else.
And whatever else you can say about the thing, BeReal is definitely a bona fide hit. It’s currently No. 1 among free apps in Apple’s U.S. App Store, according to data from Sensor Tower shared with Fast Company. In fact, the United States is currently BeReal’s top market, representing about 35% of its users, Sensor Tower says, followed by the U.K. with 17% and France with 10%. In total, BeReal has been installed more than 20 million times, and this past Saturday was its best day ever.
Whether it can sustain that growth trajectory, of course, remains to be seen. But if nothing else, it’s refreshing to hear about a popular Gen Z app that isn’t TikTok for a change, even if TikTok influencers have already discovered it.