WhatsApp starts rolling out 3D avatars • TechCrunch
WhatsApp has started rolling out 3D avatars for its users around the world that can be used as profile pictures or personalized stickers – months after they debuted on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that avatars are coming to WhatsApp. The announcement follows a month-long beta test that was first reported by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo in June.
In a blog post, WhatsApp said users can use custom avatars as their profile picture or choose from one of 36 custom stickers reflecting different emotions and actions. Avatar stickers on WhatsApp are similar to Snap’s Bitmoji stickers or Apple’s Memoji stickers.
“Your avatar is a digital version of you that can be created from billions of combinations of hair styles, facial features and various outfits,” said the company behind the popular instant messaging app.
WhatsApp also said that users will get style improvements including lighting, shading and hairstyle textures over time.
Users will be able to create their avatars on WhatsApp – once deployed – by accessing the Settings menu. The messaging app will also have a “Use Avatar” option in profile picture settings to allow users to create their virtual doppelganger as a profile picture, according to details available on an FAQ page.
In 2019, Meta introduced Bitmoji-style 3D avatars to Facebook and Messenger. The initial rollout was limited to markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada, although the social media giant later expanded its presence in the United States in 2020. Instagram also received avatars at the end of January.
Currently, it is not clear whether WhatsApp avatars are limited to the instant messaging application or shared between several Meta services. We contacted WhatsApp to clarify this point.