Viral Social Media App BeReal Considers Revenue Plans

Silicon UK: FinTech Part 1: A New Payments and Banking Landscape

Fast-growing social media app BeReal reportedly looking for ways of earning money while avoiding advertising

Fast-growing social media app BeReal is reportedly considering in-app payments for additional features as it looks for ways of monetising its user base while avoiding advertising.

The French start-up, which was founded only two years ago and became a hit over the summer with US teenagers and college students, has an anti-addictive model of notifying all users at a random time and giving them a two-minute window to snap an unretouched photo of themselves and what they’re doing at that moment.

The approach contrasts with that of its biggest rivals, which emphasise building large networks of followers and which inundate their users with ads.

Image credit: BeReal
Image credit: BeReal

Copycat features

This has seen it grow from 10,000 daily active users just over a year ago to more than 15 million today, with Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat launching their own BeReal-style features.

Insiders expect the company to reach tens of millions of users by the end of the year, according to a report by the Financial Times citing unnamed sources.

BeReal’s growth has spurred internal discussions about how it should make money without ruining the experience for users, the report said.

One possibility could be a business model similar to that of Discord, a social platform popular with gamers and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, which offers a basic edition for free and charges a monthly subscription of $2.99 (£2.63) for additional features.

Small team

No paid content is likely to be introduced before the second half of next year, and advertising has not been entirely ruled out, the FT said.

Monetisation is not the company’s top priority due to its venture capital cash reserves and a small team of about 40 people, operating out of Paris’ Marais district.

A more immediate challenge is shoring up BeReal’s technical infrastructure to cope with growing usage.

Because its model necessitates large numbers of people accessing the app at the same time, users can experience glitches in uploading photos or accessing those of others.