We’re now getting a look at Meta’s “Roll Call” feature that would let you “see what everyone is up to in a group chat” via their front and back cameras, thanks to screenshots posted by analyst Matt Navarra on Twitter. References to the feature, which is like a private version of BeReal, were spotted in Instagram last year, but now a more fleshed-out version of it has shown up in Messenger.
The feature is “an internal prototype, and not testing externally,” according to Meta spokesperson Liz Sweeney, but the screenshots do still give us an idea of how it could work should it ever make it to Messenger or other Meta apps. According to Navarra’s post, people in a Messenger group chat would get five minutes to respond to a roll call with their own pictures. The person initiating it can add custom prompts to request, say, pictures of people’s lunches or pets. Like BeReal, you wouldn’t be able to view other people’s roll call submissions until you’d posted your own, according to a description of the feature shared by Navarra.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Meta working on a feature that mimics BeReal’s main idea. In December, it announced that it was testing something called Candid Stories for Instagram, which featured a daily notification reminding you to make a candid post, which people could only see after making a candid post of their own. The company also said it was working on something similar for Facebook Stories.
The prototype for Messenger seems to be a bit different in that it’s geared toward private groups rather than public posts; there’s not a global notification that everyone gets at the same time, like with BeReal.