Being Real

Snapchat's inevitable BeReal clone is rolling out today

Dual Camera is exactly what it sounds like — and you can use it any time you want.

Snapchat is today launching a new feature called Dual Camera that — you guessed it — takes photos with both your front-facing and rear-facing cameras at the same time. This is actually an option that’s been available since earlier this year in Snapchat’s “Director Mode,” but now it’s been given its own spotlight on the main camera toolbar.

Dual Camera is, in Snap’s words, the evolution of the idea that “the camera supports real friendship through visual communication, self-expression, and storytelling,” allowing users to capture multiple perspectives in an instant. It’s also the perfect way to capitalize on the immense popularity of BeReal, which uses a dual-camera system as its main mode of communication.

Snapchat isn’t totally playing into the BeReal hype, though — unlike BeReal, users won’t be prompted to use the Dual Camera feature at any specific time of day. The feature can also be used as many times as you’d like on just about every part of the Snapchat app.

Where to find it — The Dual Camera is very easy to find, now that it’s been moved to the main camera interface. Just look for the little double-camera icon in the upper right of the screen while the Snapchat camera is open.

Once open, Dual Camera will prompt users to choose a layout option: vertical, horizontal, picture-in-picture, or cutout. The variety here should make it much more interesting to flip through a million Dual Camera posts in a row.

The Dual Camera in action.Snap

Dual Camera photos are treated just like normal photos in the Snapchat app, which means you can add music and as many stickers as you’d like to them before you post. Snapchat’s many filters can also be used with Dual Camera.

BeReal whenever you want — It’s pretty clear how the burgeoning popularity of BeReal has played into Snap’s decision to move Dual Camera to the main camera interface. It’s refreshing that Snapchat hasn’t simply put an exact replica of BeReal in its app, though — the main timing mechanism of BeReal is absent here, and the layout options are entirely original.

Instagram, meanwhile, is working on a double-camera feature of its own, and that one is pretty much copy-and-pasted right from BeReal’s source code. The “IG Candid” feature even sends random notifications just like BeReal. Instagram has launched plenty of copycat features that end up becoming popular; it’s no surprise that’s how the company plans to take on BeReal’s popularity, too.

Dual Camera will begin rolling out to iOS users on an iPhone XS/XR or newer today. An Android release is expected in the coming months.