What is Meta Roll Call?

Meta Roll Call was revealed in early 2023. But what is it, how does it work, and is it similar to BeReal? Read all about it here.

Using Meta Roll Call

Meta started testing a new feature, Roll Call, in early 2023. Let’s have a look at what Roll Call is, the similarities it shares with BeReal, and all the other details.

What is Meta Roll Call?

Meta Roll Call is a work-in-progress feature for the Messenger mobile app. It allows users to send customized responses to their friends and family in group chats, to see how their day’s going.

Responses can be sent via photo or video, and users can only see what other people have sent once they’ve submitted their own response to the Roll Call.

The feature has been described as a fun way to ‘share authentic moments’ with no editing options – sound familiar? We’ll get to that in a few moments.

Who can use Meta Roll Call?

Meta has described Roll Call as an ‘internal prototype’, meaning it’s in the early stages of testing. At the moment, there’s no beta version or specific territories that can use Roll Call – it’s still being tweaked by the peeps at Meta.

It’s uncertain whether Roll Call will enter broader beta testing in the future, or if it'll remain a private test. We’ll have to wait and see!

Using Meta Roll Call

How does Meta Roll Call work?

Meta Roll Call is an effective, quickfire little thing. The way it works is pretty simple:

  • Someone in the Messenger group chat will start a Roll Call. They’ll come up with a custom prompt to kick things off, like ‘What are my teamies eating for lunch?’ or ‘What are you doing tonight?’ They’ll send what they’re doing alongside the prompt, either as a photo or video. Roll Calls can be sent without a prompt, but where’s the fun in that?

  • Everyone in the chat will receive a notification, and there’s just five minutes to respond – the time limit is there to encourage ‘in the moment’ replies. Users will record their responses on both their smartphone’s front and back cameras, at the same time. 

  • Once people respond, they’ll be able to see other people’s photos and videos. This means that if someone doesn’t answer, they won’t be able to check out what everyone else has sent. 

  • The Roll Call and its responses expire in 24 hours, similar to most other Story-style features.

    Using Meta Roll Call

    The person who started the Roll Call can unsend the custom prompt at any time – for example, if they realized they’d made a mistake, or thought that the prompt was inappropriate.

    However, if someone wants to delete the actual Roll Call, the custom prompt needs to be removed alongside all responses. Until people unsend their replies, the Roll Call can’t be deleted by the sender.

    Is Meta Roll Call like BeReal?

    The concept of Meta Roll Call is similar to BeReal, which became super popular in 2022. Some people have even called Roll Call ‘a private version of BeReal’. The similarities include:

    • Sharing content from both the front and back cameras
    • Limited time to view other people’s responses
    • You can only view content once you’ve shared your own response

    However, there are more differences between BeReal and Meta Roll Call than you might think. With BeReal, you have the choice to go public, whereas Roll Call is just between group chats.

    Using Meta Roll Call

    Roll Call also allows custom prompts and video, while BeReal doesn’t provide text prompts, nor does it support video. BeReals also come at a random time of the day, but Roll Calls only happen once a user starts one.

    Beyond all that, BeReal is its own ‘thing’, and can’t be integrated with other apps. Judging by what’s been revealed so far, Roll Call is available for Meta-owned apps. This means it could potentially be used for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Not so similar after all, right?

    So, that’s the lowdown on Meta Roll Call so far. Whether it’ll gain steam and become widely available is uncertain, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

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