Since the advent of bitmoji (remember those personalised cartoon strips that were meant to look just like you in various scenarios that everyone went through a phase of posting?) and Apple launching its own memojis on iphones for calls, texts, voice notes and well, everything you’d use an emoji for, social networks have strived for further personalisation options.
Now, finally, Facebook have launched their version – the personal Facebook avatar.
What is a Facebook Avatar?
A Facebook avatar is essentially a sticker for any Facebook user that is designed to look like a cartoon version of themselves. It is a computerised drawing made of customisable parts – i.e., skin colour, face shape, eye colour, make-up, hair styles, clothing, accessories – for the user to design as they see fit. For the most part, Facebook avatars are used to look like the individual so that they can be used as an emoji or put into stickers to react to the posts of others in their Facebook newsfeed.
At present, the Facebook avatars are somewhat customisable but don’t yet have as many features or options as say, Apple memojis, but new features are being added all the time.
Why have a Personal Facebook Avatar?
Facebook users don’t have to have a Facebook avatar, but they can choose to if they wish. The primary reason for having one at present would be to have the ability to respond to the posts of Facebook friends with a personalised sticker or reaction. This, when designed to look like the user, gives a response that’s perceived more ‘personal’ – something undoubtedly appreciated by most in a period when the ‘offline’ world is so topsy turvy and stressful!
Many people are choosing to change their Facebook profile picture to their avatar too, to give a personalised image without having to use a photo of themselves publicly. Functionality behind the avatars is still a little limited, but they will be rolled out for everyone across Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
For brands, an avatar can help give a more personal feel to corporate or business communications, which could be beneficial on the marketing side.
Can everyone get a Facebook Avatar?
As with most additional features to Facebook, the roll-out of avatar functionality is being done in phases and not as a blanket cover to every Facebook user in the world. It started in the US, and once sufficiently tested, was rolled out across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. At time of writing (the beginning of June 2020), almost every country has now had Facebook avatar rolled out to them, but not all.
If you don’t yet have the option to create one, firstly: update your App and/or internet browser. If you still don’t, sit tight – Facebook will roll this out to more places, soon.
How do I create my Avatar?
Most people are finding the avatar creation tool through their Facebook friends – as they post their own Facebook avatar, they’re presented with the option to make their own.
However, if you’re yet to see anyone else post theirs, or simply scrolled past when they did, don’t worry! In the app, simply hit the hamburger menu (that’s the three horizontal lines) and select ‘Avatars’. From here you can create your own avatar from scratch or edit one you’ve already created.
What’s going to happen next with Facebook Avatars?
Once Facebook avatars have been rolled out completed, the functionality is expected to be rolled out to Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter too. This means that you will be able to comment using your personalised stickers and reactions on other channels as well.
The most obvious change to the Facebook avatar system is that more customisation will be available – more hair colours and styles, definitely more clothing (the range is currently quite limited) and a lot more little detail that can be changed and tweaked.
From there, who knows? If Facebook looks to echo some of the Apple memoji work, users may be able to create alter egos for their social media profiles, and maybe even animals or pets? And if they look to adopt a bitmoji-style approach, users may be able to create comic strips and scenes with their Facebook avatar!
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