Instagram and Snapchat have been sweating the fallout of TikTok’s rise, but now it seems they have another up-and-coming rival to worry about.
BeReal, which bills itself as a less-curated platform, was the top-downloaded iOS app in the US so far this quarter, according to third-party data from Apptopia recently highlighted by Bernstein. BeReal beat TikTok in second place, with Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp rounding out the top five.
Bernstein analyst Mark Shmulik noted that trends are admittedly different when looking globally or beyond Apple Inc. AAPL.
Devices with the iOS operating system. Instagram tops the charts on a purely global basis, and BeReal doesn’t even crack the top 5. If you look at worldwide iOS downloads to account for the fact that GOOG, developed by Alphabet Inc.
Apps come preinstalled on Android devices, Instagram still comes first, YouTube second and BeReal third.
“But if US iOS downloads are the latest innovation, there’s a new king in town,” he said in a note to customers.
While apps like META by Meta Platforms Inc.
Instagram encourages users to post curated photos and videos to their feeds, social media users also appreciate apps like Snap Inc.’s SNAP,
Snapchat, where people share photos of themselves, make funny faces, and use cheesy filters.
BeReal aims to capitalize on this more ad hoc aspect of social media as well, although the company says on its iOS app downloads page that it’s “not another social network.”
The app notifies people once a day at a different time that they have two minutes to share a selfie and a shot of their surroundings. The app is a “new and unique way to find out who your friends really are in their day-to-day lives,” BeReal says on its website.
Shmulik noted that “the company’s selling point seems to be resonating,” both in terms of app downloads and the attention BeReal is receiving from mainstream social media players.
TikTok recently launched TikTok Now, its own version of the trend, which the company says it would build into the app for US users and offer as a standalone app in some other regions. TechCrunch reported this summer that Instagram has “quietly” added a feature called Dual to its Reels platform, allowing people to shoot simultaneously with their front- and rear-facing cameras.
According to Shmulik, it is still unknown whether the TikTok clone in particular will take off. “Such ventures can be success or failure, as Meta well knows, but the competition for eyeballs is stronger than ever,” he wrote.