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What’s funny about tech nowadays is that you can’t see a well-known feature only on a single app. When an app maker launches a new feature and becomes a hit, expect others would make an imitation of it in a month or two. That’s the case now for BeReal, which uses a smartphone’s entire camera system to capture front and rear photos, and Snapchat’s newly launched Dual Camera feature. Needless to say, the rollout of Snapchat’s new feature is not just a coincidence, given that BeReal has already amassed over 30 million downloads and attracted a craze that could threaten other camera apps in the market.
Snapchat’s new Dual Camera feature is now available for iOS users and will be rolling out to Android users in the coming months. Once downloaded, users will notice a new icon (two cameras overlapping) in the right-side toolbar.
Tapping on the icon will allow you to choose from the four layouts of the camera: horizontal, vertical, picture-in-picture, and cutout. While the first two align pictures or videos side-by-side, picture-in-picture and cutout make the best out of the feature. The picture-in-picture layout puts you inside a small circle, while the cutout automatically trims your background and puts you in the scene being captured by the rear cam in real-time. This makes the last two ideal for commentary videos commonly seen and posted on TikTok.
Compared to BeReal, using Snapchat’s Dual Camera feature is more enjoyable. I honestly love that it can be used to capture not just photos but so as videos. This makes it extra attractive for influencers and creators. The entire feature is intuitive and easy to access and even saves you the time to open other apps since Snapchat already allows adding lenses, music, and stickers on the captured dual camera content.
Originally, in April, Snapchat announced the feature’s release, which was supposed to be included in the Director Mode. However, BeReal has already been drawing attention during the same period, making it hard to say that the Dual Camera feature is a product of Snapchat’s originality. But who says originality matters to this day if app companies relentlessly copy each other’s ideas every now and then? Facebook and Instagram, which Meta is desperately dressing as a mini-TikTok is a proof of that. But then again, it doesn’t matter. Originality is not an issue with these companies as long as their apps benefit them and bring them more users and revenue.