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Last year, BeReal generated tons of traction for its simple yet innovative social media communication. However, the BeReal hype train has since died down, but authentic content hasn’t. Brands and creators strive to have authentic content to strengthen bonds with viewers. Sources reported that Meta is creating a BeReal-like feature on Messenger Roll Call. Want to know more about Meta Roll Call? Keep scrolling to see what Meta is brewing.
What Is Roll Call?
Meta Roll Call is a feature on Messenger. Like BeReal, Roll Call is designed to make chats more interactive. On February 21st, social media consultant and analyst Matt Navarra tweeted pictures of Meta Roll Call. Liz Sweeney, Meta’s spokesperson, stated that Roll Call is an internal prototype not being tested externally.
The new feature gives group chat members five minutes to respond to a “roll call” with pictures of what they’re up to. The roll call initiator can add custom picture prompts, but users who don’t submit pictures can’t see other submissions. The Roll Call bot intends to make group chats lively amongst current members.
⚡️FIRST LOOK: Meta is testing its BeReal-style ‘Roll Call’ feature in Messenger pic.twitter.com/UzMkRhba4K
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) February 22, 2023
Navarra described Roll Call within the tweet thread: “Roll Call helps people share authentic moments with friends and family.” Roll Call was reported to be a fun, pay-to-play experience that encourages participation.
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Meta and Instagram Candid
Meta’s new Messenger feature might sound surprising to some, but Meta is no stranger to creating authentic social media features. Take Instagram Candid as a prime example. Back in December 2022, Instagram released a blog post introducing new ways to connect with users on the platform.
The post introduces features like Notes, Candid Stories, Group Profiles, and Collaborative Collections. Candid was described as a new way to post what you’re doing in real-time with friends and family. Candids are only visible to users that also share their own stories. Like BeReal, users are notified when it’s time to capture the moment. Sounds almost exactly like Meta Roll Call, right? The blog post stated that similar features would also be tested on Facebook Stories.
Why Did Meta Create Roll Call?
Although Roll Call is still being tested, many wonder why it was created. BeReal stirred the pot in the creator economy. For some, it was a wake-up call for those seeking authenticity and safety on social media. As a result, big companies like Meta and ByteDance had to stay ahead of the game. ByteDance responded to BeReal by creating TikTok Now while Meta created Instagram Candid.
Besides battling competitors, Meta realized users wanted a space to connect with friends and family. Essentially, people wanted an authentic experience outside of the falseness of social media. What better way to follow that authenticity trend than taking inspiration from BeReal? Features like Roll Call help fosters friendships with interactive games and updates amongst one another.
Will Roll Call Mimick BeReal?
BeReal hasn’t been the talk of the town these past few months, while others argue that the BeReal app is dying. Some people are pondering what caused BeReal to lose traction. One of the biggest problems stems from BeReal’s technical issues. Whenever users saw a BeReal notification pop up, they’d frantically go to post before the timer expired, causing server overload.
Unlike BeReal’s small developer team, Meta is a massive company, owning platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. These technical issues can be mitigated. As a result, Meta Roll Call might become a more stable version of BeReal, integrated with other popular platforms. In addition, the prototype can expand on what BeReal is: creating new ways to engage and still “be real.”
On BeReal, there’s not much to do other than post a video or picture per day, but Meta Roll Call shows more promise. People who start roll calls can choose what prompts their chat must follow, making it more personalized and interactive.
This is what a Roll Call chat looks like in Messenger pic.twitter.com/qczvqC9qzP
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) February 22, 2023
Will Meta Roll Call Overtake BeReal?
The authenticity of BeReal is no longer limited by one platform. Instead, Meta Roll Call and Instagram Candids can be found on platforms users use more often. However, it’s too early to tell whether Meta Roll Call will successfully mimic the authenticity of a person’s day-to-day life.
However, their power in the creator economy makes Roll Call and Instagram Candid vastly different from BeReal. Instagram and Facebook are powerful monetization platforms, yet BeReal never intended to monetize or advertise. As a result, Meta’s prevalence in influencer marketing can make Roll Call an excellent way for brands and creators to get personal with their audience.
Despite this, Roll Call is exclusive to personal chats. With how important authenticity in the creator space is, this internal prototype might undergo changes until its official release. Meta might decide to keep Roll Call as a small, interactive feature in the Messenger app, or they can allow creators to use it for their communities.
Platforms like Discord are great ways for creators to engage with their audience. If Meta expands on this prototype, Discord’s authentic way to chat, interact, and make friends can make its way to Roll Call.
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Despite being in its early stages of development, Roll Call shows plenty of promise. Social media is notorious for not being authentic, so platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are on a fork in the road. Competition is tense, and staying relevant in the ever-changing creator economy is more important than ever.
However, one question remains: Can Meta Roll Call and BeReal coexist? I’d say yes. BeReal wants to avoid advertisements and focus on small-knit communities. If someone isn’t a fan of Facebook or Instagram, they could always stay on BeReal. Even then, users could dapple into BeReal, Roll Call, and Instagram Candid.
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