WhatsApp has started rolling out 3D avatars for its users worldwide, which can be used as profile photos or custom stickers – months after they debuted on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
On Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook that avatars are coming to WhatsApp. The announcement follows months of beta testing, first reported by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo in June.
In a blog post, WhatsApp said users can use customized avatars as their profile photo or choose one of 36 custom stickers that reflect different emotions and actions. Avatar stickers on WhatsApp are similar to Snap’s Bitmoji or Apple’s Memoji.
“Your avatar is a digital version of you that can be created from billions of combinations of different hairstyles, facial features and outfits,” said the company behind the popular instant messaging app.
WhatsApp also said that users will eventually get styling improvements, including lighting, shading and hairstyle textures.
Users will be able to create their own avatars on WhatsApp – once it launches – by going to the Settings menu. The messaging app will also get a “Use avatar” option in the profile photo settings to allow users to create their own virtual look as their profile photo, according to details available on the FAQ page.
In 2019, Meta introduced 3D Bitmoji-style avatars to Facebook and Messenger. The initial rollout was limited to markets including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada, though the social networking giant expanded its presence to the US later in 2020. At the end of January, Instagram also received avatars.
WhatsApp has confirmed to Root Devices that you currently cannot use your WhatsApp avatar on Instagram or Facebook, nor can you use your Meta avatar from Instagram or Facebook on WhatsApp. This means that to use an avatar in WhatsApp, you need to create a new avatar only in WhatsApp.