WhatsApp, Meta-owned messaging app, has added a new customization feature to its service. The new feature will add the official support for Meta’s Bitmoji-style avatars.
With the Bitmoji, WhatsApp users will be able to use their digital persona either as your profile photo or as part of a 36-sticker pack that mimics popular emoji and actions.
“Your avatar is a digital version of you that can be created from billions of combinations of diverse hair styles, facial features and outfits. On WhatsApp, you can now use your personalized avatar as your profile photo or choose from 36 custom stickers reflecting many different emotions and actions,” WhatsApp said in its announcement.
The customizable characters, which has been available across Meta services like Facebook and Instagram, have already been made available to users on the beta program. However, starting today, WhatsApp announced that it will start rolling the feature out for its users worldwide.
Meta’s avatar is one of a number of virtual customizable characters available across different platforms and messaging apps. Other customizable characters include Bitmoji, which is the 2D characters now owned by Snap, and Apple and Samsung’s system-level avatars in the form of Memoji and AR Emoji, respectively.
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.
“Sending an avatar is a fast and fun way to share feelings with friends and family. It can also be a great way to represent yourself without using your real photo so it feels more private. For many people, this will be the first time creating an avatar and we’ll continue to deliver style enhancements including lighting, shading, hair style textures and more that will make avatars even better over time,” WhatsApp said.
WhatsApp confirmed that the avatar system will work across platforms, such that the character created for WhatsApp can be used with Facebook, Instagram or VR spaces like Horizon Worlds.