Meta’s added some new ways to use your 3D avatar within Facebook and Instagram, as it works to further align users with these cartoonish versions of themselves as a new way to connect.
First off, on Facebook, you can now select a new avatar-specific posting option, which enables you to create an entire post focused on your digital character.
As you can see in this example, shared by Jonah Manzano, the new posting process enables you to select an avatar depiction in a whole new post creation mode.
It’s a new way to share on Facebook, which puts increased emphasis on your digital ‘mini-me’, which Facebook’s hoping will get more users engaging via these depictions.
It’s also added new ways to use your avatar on Instagram:
And 3D avatars on WhatsApp:
Say more with Avatars ????
More than a selfie and more than an emoji, it’s a digital you.
Bring emotion, personality, and a little more YOU to every chat with Avatars. pic.twitter.com/89ch90kvAv
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) December 7, 2022
The new options build on Meta’s various avatar-related updates over the past year, including updated 3D character designs, sponsored items for avatars, themed costumes for your digital depiction, and more.
Which all leads into the next phase of Meta’s metaverse shift.
In my recent 2023 social media predictions post, I noted that:
“Meta really wants to get people excited about the metaverse, and one way to do that is to integrate its digital avatars into more places in the app.”
And already, as you can see, Meta is putting this into practice, with a growing range of avatar integrations and processes, providing more ways for people to build connection with their digital doppelganger, and use it as an expression and engagement option.
By establishing stronger links with your digital character, Meta’s effectively normalizing this as a representative option, which will ideally make people feel more comfortable in using these cartoonish depictions for wider purpose in its evolving experiences.
So while these are just fun integrations right now, they’re also, essentially, stepping stones to metaverse interaction, in which these exact depictions will become you, and how people meet you in VR and AR environments.
Snapchat’s seen the same with Bitmoji, with over 250 million people engaging via their Bitmoji characters every day. Each usage further aligns each of these users with their digital depiction, and Snap’s now looking to use that as a means to sell digital clothing for your character, new products and designs to enhance personalization, and to further connect you to your Bitmoji as your avatar for the next phase.
Meta’s still a way off that level of connection, but with much larger reach, and many more options for avatar usage, that’s the same playbook that it’s now following, in working to better connect users to their avatar depictions, which can then be easily merged into the metaverse experience.
We’re seeing the options increase, as Meta looks to put more emphasis on avatar usage.
Expect that to continue to ramp up throughout 2023.