Meta will be taking on Snapchat with the launch of its avatars to include Bitmoji-like cartoons on Instagram, Messenger and Facebook as it aims to transform into a 'Meta-verse.'
In a statement this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed the aim for further inclusivity with the 3D figures, stating, "We're updating Meta avatars with a lot more expressions, faces and skin tones, as well as wheelchairs and hearing aids."
On Facebook and Facebook Messenger, these avatars were previously in 2D, but they’re now being converted to 3D. This will allow Facebook users to show up as their three-dimensional virtual selves in Facebook profile pictures, comments, stickers, stories and more.
Meta's avatars are similar to Bitmoji, the animated avatars that Snapchat users create to represent themselves, which were made available in 3D last year.
Meta's long-term project
Facebook (the company, not the product) renamed itself to Meta in October, as part of its long-term project to turn its social media platform into a 'metaverse' – a collective virtual shared space featuring avatars of real people.
In the future, the social media platform will be accessible within the metaverse using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets and smart glasses.
Mark Zuckerberg revealed these updates in a post on his Facebook page on Monday along with a short animation showing his own updated 3D avatar. Meta already overhauled avatars in VR to make them more expressive last year.
Meta is starting to experiment with digital clothing too, including official NFL shirts that users can digitally wear for the Super Bowl on February 13.
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