Snapchat’s Bitmoji are arguably the most popular form of 3D character avatars available, which could provide it with a valuable opportunity to stay in touch with the next phase of digital connection, if things go as Meta, and many others project.
Which is why this is a significant announcement. Today, Snap has announced an upgrade for its Bitmoji characters, which will enhance the look of their 3D models, and could facilitate broader use of these depictions in new contexts.
As explained by Snap:
“The new avatar style improves characteristics like hair texture, face shading and body proportions. Your Bitmoji can now have a bolder smile, a more astonished face when they’re surprised, and can express even the most subtle and nuanced emotions. Plus, we’re improving how you engage with your Bitmoji, like enhanced editing that allows you to modify your avatar in 3D, using zoom and rotating features to get a closer look.”
The updated avatars will essentially interact better within 3D environments, which is important for the next stage of digital connection, and using them as personal proxies in emerging online environments.
Like, say, the metaverse.
A major element of Meta’s evolving metaverse push is the use of 3D avatars, digital characters that, in Meta’s view, people will eventually use as key interactive mediums within these new digital realms.
That stems from the way that young users are already communicating via avatars in game worlds like Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft. The next generation are already accustomed to having themselves embodied in this way, and that points to new opportunities for these younger cohorts to continue interacting in new contexts via digital characters.
Which is why Meta continues to push the use of 3D avatars, as a means to guide users into its metaverse experience. Meta keeps adding more ways to use your avatar in its current app experiences, with the idea being that as people become accustomed to communicating in this way, that’ll enhance their alignment to these depictions, which will then ease the transition into metaverse connection.
While it’ll also introduce new commercial opportunities. Just this week, Meta announced a new avatar clothing line created by fashion house Valentino, adding to its existing digital clothing collections from adidas, Puma, and many more.
If the metaverse becomes a thing, as Meta hopes, then these digital depictions will be how we all meet up and interact in future, and in this context, it makes sense for Snap to also enhance its Bitmoji characters, as a pathway for it to remain connected to this next stage.