BeReal and brands—how marketers are using the anti-Instagram

Social media app BeReal is quickly becoming the latest internet craze despite having no filters, no short-form video and no ads. And yet, brands like Chipotle are already experimenting with how they can “be real” with their customers.

BeReal bills itself as “Not another social network;” the platform centers around connecting with friends for two minutes every day. The app sends out a push notification—⚠️ Time to BeReal ⚠️ —to all users at a different time each day; users then have two minutes to take a photo of themselves and what they’re doing at that moment. Once uploaded, they can see their friends’ photos as well. If pictures are uploaded outside of the two-minute mark, they are slapped with a “late” label. 

Brands that want to try out the app—which has been dubbed the anti-Instagram—are also subject to the two-minute notification. “It’s a hurdle that makes BeReal so interesting to experiment with,” said Tressie Lieberman, VP of digital marketing and off-premise at Chipotle. The restaurant has been on BeReal since April, posting promo codes in their photos. The first 100 customers to use the codes in the app or online received a free entree. The codes were redeemed in less than a minute after posting, according to Lieberman. The brand recently posted a BeReal of a Chipotle employee in front of a “Buy the Dip” billboard in Times Square.

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