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Meta Tests ‘Roll Call’ Feature for Messenger, Offers Users Pay-to-Play Experience

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After testing the Roll Call feature in Instagram late last year, Meta is trying the same for Facebook’s Messenger. It is a small-scale version of BeReal within an enclosed group chat. Meta was looking at enabling group chat members in Instagram to request all participants to add a photo or video of themselves to the chat within five minutes.

Now for Messenger, Roll Call will help users share authentic moments with friends and family in group chats. It will initially support photos and videos. Roll Call will be a fun, pay-to-play experience that prompts members to participate, contribute own media first to view what others have shared.

Users can create in-thread prompts like “show me your lunch”, and other users respond with “in the moment” content relevant to the prompt. Matt Navarra, a social media consultant & industry analyst, shared the Roll Call description on Twitter. To encourage “in the moment” participation the prompt has a countdown timer and a notification is sent to users in the thread that they have limited time to respond. Users, after submitting a response, can view everyone else’s responses to the prompt.

On Instagram, the Roll Call feature also worked on “Glimpse Stories”, which works just like BeReal, in using the front and back cameras to show what you’re up to at any given time. It requires participation, whereby users have to post videos or images to those who’ve submitted their own contribution to the Roll Call.

The Roll Call feature for Messenger comes after Meta introduced a dedicated “Calls” tab, which was added to the function bar at the bottom of the app. It allows users to quickly access all their voice and video calls. The new design makes it easier for users to access calls on the Messenger app.


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