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Digital avatars are everywhere now. From Google’s Minis, to Apple’s MeMojis, to Snapcat’s Bitmoji. Facebook wants to get in on the action.
Now the social media giant has launched its own take on this — Avatars — today in Australia for use in both Messenger and the Newsfeed.
“There’s been a ton of work put into this from the product and design perspective to find out, with how many people on Facebook, how to make this as representative as possible,” Facebook Avatars communication manager Jimmy Raimo told TechCrunch. “They’re a bit more realistic so they can be your personal avatar vs trying to make them cute, funny, and cartoony.”
This is a different philosophy from Google and Snapchat, who make their own personalised emojis as funny, cartoonish and divorced from reality as they can while still allowing users space to customise them.
The biggest flaw I can see in Facebook’s Avatars is that they are still only launched in Australia while Bitmojis, MeMojis etc are available everywhere right now. Of course, Facebook being Facebook means that it could simply win by virtue of having a large marketshare and integration with Instagram and WhatsApp. The firm has the cards, it’ll have to deal carefully.