BeReal is considering adding paid features to the app in a bid to avoid Instagram-style advertising.
According to a report by The Financial Times on Saturday, BeReal is exploring monetizing the platform by incorporating in-app purchases.
BeReal has grown significantly and has reached over 15 million daily active users, surpassing internal targets, reports The Financial Times, which interviewed multiple people close to the company for the article.
Insiders believe that the photo-sharing app could reach tens of millions of users by the end of this year.
The consideration of paid features is prompted by investors trying to ensure that the platform is not a passing social media phenomenon.
BeReal’s executives are said to be keen to avoid the pitfalls of larger U.S. rivals such as Facebook and Snapchat, keeping a small team focused on improving the product, rather than raising vast sums from venture capitalists to pursue global expansion.
The photo-sharing app’s meteoric rise has already drawn copycat features from TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, which have all launched dual-camera settings in recent months. This has brought forward discussions of BeReal’s long-term business model within the company. However, BeReal is attempting to avoid copying other apps like Instagram and TikTok when it comes to in-app advertising.
According to The Financial Times, BeReal’s main photo-sharing service will remain free to use. But the company is weighing optional paid-for extras to its core product.
These in-app purchases on BeReal might resemble a premium Discord membership, where users pay a monthly fee of $2.99 for bonuses like digital stickers.
No paid features are likely to launch on the photo-sharing app before the second half of next year. Although some insiders at BeReal see ads as intrusive and ruin the experience for users, advertising has not entirely been ruled out.
BeReal’s push for in-app purchases is part of a trend in social media platforms aiming to convert to a subscription model as a way of increasing revenue. In June, Instagram revealed that creators will be able to lock their photos and Reels behind a paywall for subscribers using the “subscriptions” feature.
Meta will also add more paid features to Facebook and WhatsApp in a bid to recoup declining advertising revenue.