Will “TikTok Now” Slow the Momentum of Rising Social Star BeReal?

We say in digital marketing that the landscape changes quickly, and BeReal is the latest example. The French social media app, released in 2020, is making huge gains on TikTok as the social media app darling of the Gen Z crowd.

BeReal (if you haven’t heard much about it yet, just wait) has set itself apart from other social channels with its focus on authenticity. BeReal is approachable because it does not require any production or editing. Unlike other platforms, including Instagram, that function more as a highlight reel of the user’s life, BeReal is a snapshot of normal, daily life.

While TikTok has captured entertainment-loving Gen Z users, BeReal has the edge in attracting users who crave authenticity and information, particularly from their friend networks. But TikTok isn’t about to yield that territory.

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Introducing TikTok Now

In mid-September, TikTok released TikTok Now, which gives users a daily nudge to share a front-and-back photo of themselves and whatever they happen to be looking at:

Preview images of TikTok Now's interface.

Source: TikTok

I see this as a good play to retain users, especially those in older demographics, who aren’t yet on BeReal and might not be motivated to download a new social media app. 

Instagram made a similar move by introducing Reels as an alternative to TikTok-averse users, and creators adapted by reusing the same content for both TikTok and Instagram Reels. This has allowed Instagram users to still be able to consume TikTok-like content without having to leave Instagram, and I think TikTok Now will achieve something similar as a BeReal alternative. 


Why should marketers care?

Paid social marketers have no way (yet) to monetize the fast-growing engagement on BeReal, and TikTok has more than advertising functionality on its side. TikTok’s entertainment-first nature lends the app much more content diversity than BeReal, whose front-and-back camera format will produce more consistency. 

That said, any marketer who didn’t spend a little time learning about TikTok in the last year or so was behind the curve when it emerged as a viable channel. BeReal may present a similar opportunity soon, especially since its focus on authenticity and connection with friend networks appeal to Gen Z users uniquely receptive to community and peer validation.



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