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How BeReal missed its moment

A screenshot of BeReal’s notification.
Is it still Time to BeReal? | Image: BeReal

The ongoing collapse of Twitter has lots of folks wondering when an all-consuming new social app will rise up to take its place. This week, I want to talk about how things are going at one such upstart — and what it tells us about how new social products win and lose in 2023.

That upstart is BeReal. In July of last year, the photo-sharing app had a breakout moment when frequent discussions of the app on TikTok pushed it to the top of the app store charts. Like most insurgent social networks, BeReal arrived with a novel creative constraint: a once-a-day window to post, delivered at a different time each day via push notification, that attempts to create a less performative social experience by inviting you to post your life at its most…

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