Meta continues to find new ways to squeeze its digital avatars into the mix, as it looks to guide users towards the metaverse, where we’ll all be interacting via our virtual selves.
At least in theory.
Meta’s latest addition on this front is animated avatar stickers on WhatsApp, which is another expansion of WhatsApp’s capacity.
just when you thought you couldn’t have more fun in a chat we added Avatar Animated Stickers like these ⬇️ to drop in all your chats. pic.twitter.com/R51aTZ88D8— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) September 20, 2023
As you can see in these examples, you’ll now be able to add moving, reacting versions of your digital self into your WhatsApp chats, providing another way to use your avatar within Meta’s apps.
Back in July, Meta added animated avatar stickers for Instagram and Facebook Stories, and Reels, as well as Facebook comments, and message threads on Messenger and Instagram. It’s also been testing out animated avatar stickers on WhatsApp in selected regions, with this new expansion providing more animated options in its top messaging app.
Which will provide more ways to engage via your virtual likeness, which Meta will be hoping will further align users to their characters, thus making them more comfortable communicating, in different ways, via these depictions.
Because eventually, Meta envisions us all engaging like this:
A lot of this engagement, as you can see, is via avatars within these virtual environments, and already, Meta’s expanding metaverse access beyond VR alone, with users now able to engage in VR spaces as their virtual characters via their mobile device or PC.
This is the future that Meta foresees, and as part of that, it needs to get us all more familiar with interacting as these digital caricatures, and have that become a more natural and engaging experience.
Which is why it keeps adding more avatar engagement options, as breadcrumbs towards the next stage.
Will that work? I mean, more people are using avatars on Facebook and IG now than they have in the past, and with the introduction of Horizon Worlds on mobile, that will likely make people more aligned with their avatars over time.
And with the younger generation already conducting a lot of their social interactions in gaming worlds, as in-game characters, it makes sense that this would be a logical expansion for future social media usage.
There’s immediate benefit now, in providing new forms of engagement, but the bigger picture is increased familiarity, and affinity with your character, which will expand the ways that you can connect in future.