August 17, 2022: It’s ⚠️Time To STC ⚠️

In this edition: 

  • Brands try to infiltrate BeReal
  • Snap’s AR news points to a metaverse shift
  • TikTok takes on Google


Your Brands For Real

The Story

BeReal’s anti-curation vibe poses a challenge to advertisers – but some brands are still trying to make their own luck.  

Make It Up As You Go

BeReal, an up-and-coming social media platform that gives users a 2-minute window to snap and share a pic wherever they are (no edits allowed), is currently as authentic as it gets. Its infrastructure is decidedly unfriendly when it comes to strategic planning and potential edits, making it difficult for brands and influencers to incorporate as part of a larger marketing mix. But e.l.f. Cosmetics, K18, and Inn Beauty Project are rearranging their strategy to include BeReal while maintaining authenticity – and it’s paying off.  

It’s Time To BeReal

BeReal is one of several rising stars among new social media platforms. According to The Verge, BeReal became the top-downloaded free app in the iOS App Store and over 300,000 people downloaded the app in one weekend alone. The lifetime downloads are still unofficial, but Apptopia estimates that BeReal is at 29.5 million – so far.


BeReal prohibits advertising. So how are these brands able to… be brands? In Chipotle’s case, it posted promo codes for free entrées on its platform. Others, like Trident and PacSun, are just posting day-in-the-life pics. In a world where the masses are rebelling against hyper-curation, brands are getting creative. We’re interested to see how the likes of Instagram and TikTok respond to what may be their next major competitor. 


Oh, Snap

The Story

Social commerce and AR propel Snap into the metaverse. 

Snap’s Shopping Plans

Snapchat is coming in hot with its social commerce efforts as its competition dials initiatives down. With a new in-stream commerce option via product stickers, Snapchat is making a push for shopping on the app. This comes on the heels of TikTok and Meta announcing that they are dialing back their respective live shopping plans to focus more on in-app shopping. While Snapchat hasn’t made any claims on social commerce, could it step up and go toe-to-toe with YouTube in the future, whose live shopping plans have only expanded in recent months? 

Shifting To New Horizons

Social commerce is just one topic on Snap’s mind lately. It’s taking on augmented reality (AR) in a new way with enhanced asset rendering. In a new rendering technique, images are sourced from online collections (like Google images) without being photographed in a physical studio – a time-consuming part of current processes. Its findings are detailed in a new academic paper that debuted at SIGGRAPH, the premier computer graphics and interactivity conference. 


Between social commerce advancements and AR, these new techniques are making it easier than ever for developers to make their mark. These innovations could usher in a quicker shift into the metaverse and Web 3.0, making it more important than ever for brands to dive in and learn all about this space before they get swept away. 


What TikTok’s Up To

The Story

40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok and Instagram to process search results instead of Google. 

Searching For The Truth

Traditional search engines, which have long been a standard go-to for research, shopping, and general information gathering, are starting to lose out to the likes of TikTok. Why? Critics say that an influx of paid advertising and spammy websites are clogging up Google search results, which may be driving Gen Z users away. 

In The Business Of Success

This unofficial accolade isn’t the only newsworthy moment for TikTok. It’s also receiving praise from small businesses as a hub for organic growth and sales success. This is only fueling its positive reputation in commerce; even though live shopping is no longer a go, it is beta testing a new order center, which helps businesses track their e-commerce ventures more effectively. That’s another win for TikTok in helping businesses thrive. 


TikTok and other social media platforms are running rampant with sponsored posts and brand advertising. It’s interesting that despite this natural landscape for paid advertising, search engines are the ones taking the fall, and that Gen Z trusts TikTok’s search results more than Google’s. This may not be the case for all consumers, but with Gen Z coming up as the latest wealth-holders, it’s an important shift that may have search engines adjusting their set-ups to appeal to a broader audience.