Business | SUNBIZ

Fiji Joins BeReal, 1st Country With An Official Account

Over the last few years, several studies have found levels of depression and anxiety to correlate with time spent using these apps. Tourism Fiji said it was time to act on this information.
27 Aug 2022 07:00
Fiji Joins BeReal, 1st Country With An Official Account
Fiji has become the first country to officially have an account.

Fiji has become the first country in the world with a national social media account on the new social media platform, BeReal. Labelled the “anti-Instagram” for its uncurated, unfiltered content, BeReal is the latest social media platform gaining popularity worldwide. Today, Fiji has become the first country to officially have an account.

Founded in 2019, BeReal has recently experienced a surge in popularity, with 22 million active daily users. Last month it won the title for most popular free app on the US Apple App Store charts, beating apps like Facebook, Whatsapp and even TikTok.

The concept is simple; users are sent a notification at a random point in the day and have a few minutes to jump on the app and share a photo taken simultaneously from the smartphone’s front and back camera.

Without the opportunity to edit, filter or even overthink that to photograph, BeReal has been described as one of the most ‘authentic’ social media platforms.

 

How Will It Work For Fiji?

According to Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill, the account will see a social media team work with Fijian locals to upload one unedited post every day. Hill said the team had ‘a plan of action’ as to how they would capture great content.

“We’re based really close to the main tourism hub of Fiji,” he explained.

“So once that notification comes in, the guys will go to one of a number of different locations that are super close to where we are, and upload the image.”

The account would feature “really authentic stuff” like small coffee shops, friendly locals, and of course, their beautiful vistas.

“Fiji is that a place that we don’t have to airbrush, we don’t have to pretend that it’s amazing, we know that it’s great,” Hill said.

 

The Rise Of Bereal And Fall Of Instagram

Since 2019, engagement across Instagram has almost halved, a result often attributed to people’s growing discontent with the unrealistic, highly curated content. Tourism Fiji said this wasn’t the worst part, however.

“More worryingly, the proliferation of unrealistic content on social media channels has been proven to cause mental health issues among users,” they said in a press release about the BeReal account.”

Over the last few years, several studies have found levels of depression and anxiety to correlate with time spent using these apps. Tourism Fiji said it was time to act on this information.

“Now more than ever, social media users are not only demanding more realistic content, but it’s also a necessary shift to move away from unhealthy social media habits.”

Their hope is to give “would-be holidaymakers a reprieve from the overly saturated and often highly altered #travelporn on Instagram”.

 

However, Hill said they would not abandon the Tourism Fiji Instagram, which currently has more than 159,000 followers.

“To be honest, I still think the mega social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, will continue on,” he said.

“I think this will just be added to it.”

Hill said Tourism Fiji was aware of the “Instagram versus reality thing” but also felt that the platform had many advantages for travellers seeking inspiration.

“People love seeing a place and thinking ‘I want to go there’,” he said.

“We just try to show things literally as they are.”

 

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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