Meta has announced some big updates for avatars across its social media apps. They include video calls using your avatar on Messenger and Instagram, animated stickers across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, social stickers, avatar creation based on your selfie in Facebook and WhatsApp, and the standardization of avatar looks across all platforms including VR.
Have you ever decided you want to call someone on Messenger but didn’t want to go on video because you looked a mess? Meta is addressing this problem by letting you swap out your actual appearance for your avatar.
When you’re on a call, you should see the Avatar option on the left to switch to your virtual self. Messenger is able to track your facial movements so your avatar will copy, kind of making it life-like (except for the cartoonish face). This feature is going to be available in Messenger and Instagram on Android and iOS.
Next up, Meta showed off animated stickers. As the name suggests, you can now respond to people on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram using a more dynamic sticker such as your avatar giving a thumbs up or rolling around on the floor laughing.
Staying on the topic of stickers, Meta is introducing social stickers that let you express yourself alongside your friends and family. The company said you can use @Tagging to bring your friends together in Facebook Stories and share social stickers in 1:1 message threads.
While avatars are great, some people hate making them, why can’t we just take a selfie and have Meta make one for us? Well, now we can. The new feature is being tested on Facebook and WhatsApp initially but will hopefully come to all platforms.
Finally, Meta said that it’ll standardize its avatars across all platforms, including VR, so you can more easily recognize your avatar and your friends’ avatars. Meta also said we should hear more about avatar updates later this year.