‘Anti-Instagram’ Photo-Sharing App BeReal Purchased for $537 Million

A smartphone screen displaying various app icons with a notification overlay from BeReal. The notification reads: "Time to BeReal. 2 min to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!" On the left, the text "Voodoo x BeReal" is visible on a black background.

BeReal, the “anti-Instagram” photo-sharing app that had a brief stint atop Apple’s App Store charts in 2022, has been purchased by French app developer Voodoo for a whopping €500 million, approximately $537 million.

Founded in 2019, BeReal promised users a more authentic social media experience by forcing users to capture images inside the app and encouraging limited photo sharing. Users could initially share just one photo per day and at randomized times.

Although it took a bit for BeReal to become a hit, it went viral in 2022 and, as of April 2023, BeReal said it still had about 20 million daily users. At the time, BeReal began testing letting users upload more than one photo per day, and the company even got celebrities and other famous people involved with the platform.

Three smartphone screens showcasing the BeReal app. The left screen shows a notification: "Time to BeReal." The middle screen displays a camera interface with a timer. The right screen shows a feed with photos and comments from friends.

A social media platform built without likes, followers, and constant uploads is understandably an appealing proposition. And Voodoo clearly thinks it’s a worthwhile and valuable idea.

“BeReal achieved incredible user loyalty and growth, showing there is a universal need to share real, unfiltered experiences with close friends,” says Alexandre Yazdi, Voodoo co-founder and CEO. “We are very excited to bring our teams together and leverage Voodoo’s know-how and differentiated technologies to scale BeReal into the iconic social network for authenticity.”

Voodoo says that BeReal has retained 40 million active users and is continued popular in three key markets: the United States, France, and Japan. The developer says about half of these 40 million active users use BeReal at least six days per week.

Voodoo says it is “uniquely positioned” to help BeReal unlock “its full potential as a next generation social platform.” The French company has built other apps like Helix Jump, Mob Control, Block Jam 3D, and Wizz. Although Voodoo may not be a household name, it is the number three worldwide mobile publisher in terms of downloads, behind Google and Meta. The company’s properties have 150 million active users.

A collage of various photos featuring landscapes and people. Scenes include mountains, coastal cliffs, city streets, and a beach. Some images show individuals posing and smiling, while others capture views of nature and urban environments.

Speaking of Wizz, its current CEO, Aymeric Roffé, will take over as CEO of BeReal.

BeReal’s founder and CEO, Alexis Barreyat, will remain involved with BeReal in the short term and help the transition to its new ownership.

“Voodoo has a proven track record of driving significant growth in mobile apps. Their resources and expertise will help bring BeReal on a sustainable growth path while continuing to deliver on its mission to create an authentic world that keeps you connected with the people you really care about,” Alexis Barreyat says.

As The Verge reports, BeReal had begun to experience a plateau in its growth, something Voodoo says it is expertly equipped to overcome following the acquisition.

Voodoo says it will focus on innovating new features in BeReal and aims to instigate growth “through organic and paid marketing across markets.”

Image credits: Voodoo and BeReal