What you need to know
- WhatsApp is said to be adding the ability to create avatars.
- The new feature has apparently gone live for some beta testers of the app.
- It also includes a sticker pack that you can share with friends and family.
WhatsApp has been getting a lot of love from parent company Meta of late, as evidenced by a bunch of new capabilities added to the service. It looks like one of Facebook's interesting features is also unsurprisingly making its way to the app.
The instant messaging platform is apparently rolling out the ability to set up avatars for users on the beta channel, as spotted by WABetaInfo. The new feature was initially spotted earlier this year in a section in the app labeled "Avatar."
The latest piece of evidence was discovered in the latest beta version of one of the best messaging apps for Android (v184.108.40.206). According to the source, the feature allows beta testers to create a 3D avatar as a virtual representation of themselves, much like on Facebook. Similarly, they can use this as their profile photo.
Similar to Snapchat, your WhatsApp avatar also results in a Bitmoji-like sticker pack that you can share with others through chats. If you're a beta tester, you can access the new feature by navigating to the settings menu. The option to create an avatar sits right below "Account."
The sticker pack will show up in the sticker selection menu after you're done customizing your virtual self. When avatars roll out widely, users will presumably be able to adjust the skin tone, hair color, hairstyle, clothing, and posture, among other traits, as they can on Facebook.
WhatsApp has yet to officially confirm the addition of avatar to the service, and we've reached out to the company for comment. We'll update this article when we receive a response.
The latest beta feature seems to fit in with Meta's obvious effort to make avatars a big part of how users represent themselves in the metaverse, and spreading them to all of its services is a logical next step.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.