Meta announced earlier this year that its 3D avatars will be coming to Instagram, as well as new avatars for Facebook and Messenger. Users in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico can now appear in stickers, feed posts, Facebook profile images, and other places as their virtual counterparts.
On all platforms, including VR, the update adds Cochlear implants and over-the-ear hearing aids in a variety of hues. Wheelchairs are also included in the update, and can be seen as stickers on Facebook, in Messenger chats, and in Instagram Stories and DMs. Meta is also enhancing the appearance of avatars by altering specific facial forms to make them appear more real. According to Meta, the avatar editor will be expanded in the future.
Any modifications made to a user’s avatar on Facebook and Messenger will be reflected on Instagram, and vice versa. Users can continue to build different avatars for different platforms. Meta says its goal is to make it easier for users to shift their avatar from one location to another over time, and it hopes to offer more information on this in the future.
In a statement posted to his Facebook profile, Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said:
“We’re updating Meta avatars with a lot more expressions, faces and skin tones, as well as wheelchairs and hearing aids. We’re starting to experiment with digital clothing too. You can use your avatar across Quest, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. One day you’ll have multiple avatars ranging from expressive to photorealistic. Looking forward to sharing more soon.”
In a blog post about the new launch, Aigerim Shorman, Meta’s general manager for avatars and identity shared:
“VR and Quest are key parts of our metaverse vision, but we see the metaverse as an interconnected digital world, one that bridges VR and AR, in addition to more familiar platforms like your phone and computer. […] Rolling out avatars across our platforms is an early step towards making this a reality. We hope your new virtual self enables you to be represented online the way you want.”
Avatars were initially introduced in 2020 as a method to compete with Snap’s Bitmoji, and they have been regularly updated since then. These latest improvements follow Meta’s announcement last year of new avatar options for eyes, noses, beards, and haircuts in order to make them more customized and diverse.
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Photo via Meta