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Remember when BeReal was the trending social app of the moment, with a rising gaggle of thought leaders proclaiming it as a return to real, human connection and engagement online?

BeReal

As it turns out, that was only short-lived, with Business Insider reporting that BeReal is now stuck in a limbo of sorts, as user growth stalls and new initiatives, like a celebrity feed of daily updates, fail to gain traction.

BeReal’s current active user count is around 25 million, which it has been since mid last year. That’s significantly down on the 70 million daily actives that it had at peak.

And now, it’s funding is close to drying up, with no immediate replacement sources in sight.

As per BI:

Leaders of BeReal are now weighing their options as continued growth proves difficult. The company is considering raising a Series C before what’s left of its $90 million in funding runs out. It faces what is said to be relatively tepid investor interest or being acquired, the people familiar told Business Insider.”

BeReal raised $60 million in Series B funding in 2022, at a $600 million valuation. But that was before the downturn, which has now revealed what many suspected of the app all along: BeReal is actually just a feature, not a platform, with no viable path to monetization.

As such, it’s little surprise to see it on the decline, with insiders saying that it has around 10 months of funding left.

It’s interesting to see how buzzy platforms rise and fall, in what’s become an increasingly difficult market to break. I would attribute much of this to the rise of Facebook 20 years ago. When Facebook first gained traction, many dismissed it as a novelty, an app for kids to share goofy updates about their weekend, but not much else of any value or note.

Facebook has since, of course, risen to become one of the biggest and most influential companies in the world, and it’s the investors that missed out on that initial Facebook opportunity who are now jumping onto any trending app or tool, for fear of missing the boat once again.

But in the majority of cases, you are talking about a novelty, a short-term trending app, based on the context of the time, that doesn’t really hold any significant long-term value.

Clubhouse, Peach, Vine, Google+, all of these apps were, at one time, considered the next big thing, yet all fell short, for one reason or another. Some can be attributed to mismanagement, some to internal issues, or a misreading of the market. But in most cases, especially these days, the writing is on the wall pretty early, especially when you consider the monetization angle, and where the seed grows from that initial flurry.

That’s not to say challengers can’t make it. TikTok did, even as Meta sought to replicate it into obsolescence. But embedded user behaviors are very difficult to shift, and the next app needs to have significant appeal and differentiation to gain a foothold.

Challengers will, of course, keep coming, but the BeReal example is another case of a trending app being pitched as a legit challenger, when its growth pathway was never clear.

Hard to see how it remains in operation into 2025.



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