My thoughts on BeReal and Shuffle

In today’s age where 36,000 new apps are released on the Apple App Store monthly it is inevitable that some of these apps will become popular. The age of social media makes it even more likely for an app to become viral! Two new apps that have everyone’s attention are BeReal and Shuffle. Here are my thoughts on them!

Features not apps

While both BeReal and Shuffle have people hooked, I can’t shake the fact that they should be features in existing apps (Instagram and Pinterest respectively). The fact that BeReal is trying to be the antithesis of Instagram doesn’t mean it will exist on its own for too long. Zuckerberg is already trying to copy it and I wonder if BeReal will soon meet its demise.

Shuffle really should be a feature within Pinterest (think videos for inspiration), after all taking Pinterest images as inputs and outputting a Shuffle to Pinterest is a core feature of Shuffles.

Both apps remind me of Clubhouse in that regard, an app that was able to gain virality because of a moment in time (early pandemic), but once people had incorporated its feature into their app (Twitter) and the moment had passed, the app and its glory died quietly with no one in its room to make a sound!

Tech stack matters

While Shuffle brings with it all the polish of being an app incubated at Pinterest, BeReal doesn’t have that benefit. People have to restart an unstable application multiple times, trying to be on time to avoid getting the infamous latecomer label. This means unless the team invests in things like UX, resilience it will surely lose out to IG Candid!

Invites vs Free for all

While Shuffles is scaling slowly and is invite only, BeReal is a free for all, making it Apple App Store’s top free app. They are capturing all interest in their app and converting interest into engagement. This is something where Shuffle is lagging. As a result Shuffle has passed the viral moment with limited people able to act on their interest. Is this a strategy or a missed opportunity by the team at Pinterest? Only time will tell.

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