Meta’s bitmoji-style 3D avatars have made their way to WhatsApp. As of today, you can use your digital persona either as your profile photo or as part of a 36-sticker pack that mimics popular emoji and actions. If you want to show that you love someone or aren’t sure about an idea, you can now use your virtual face instead of a generic icon.
WhatsApp sees avatars both as personalization and as a privacy feature. You can represent yourself in a conversation without having to share a photo that could be misused for stalking or other sinister purposes. The avatar system works across platforms, so the character you create for WhatsApp can be used with Facebook, Instagram or VR spaces like Horizon Worlds.
The expansion to WhatsApp was expected when Meta said it would make its new avatars usable across services. If anything, the feature is overdue. Snapchat, arguably the inspiration for the avatars, has had bitmoji reactions and replies since the start of the year. Even TikTok has avatars you can use in videos. Apple’s Messages, meanwhile, has offered “Memoji” for years.
Still, this could be a welcome addition. It should help WhatsApp compete for attention with those other services, of course, but it also promises a more consistent experience whether or not you use Meta’s other social platforms. You won’t have to give up avatars just because your friends and family depend on WhatsApp, even if they aren’t always identical to the ones you use in other apps.
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