Snapchat has taken more steps to maximize inclusion in its Bitmoji avatars, with the addition of new types of assistive devices for Bitmoji characters.
As explained by Snapchat:
“Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded our representation options by adding the top three most requested assistive devices to Bitmoji and Snapchat: hearing aids, cane stickers, and wheelchair poses for Profiles. Now, in the latest version of Snapchat, our community can see themselves in 3D poses with a wheelchair on their Profile - or choose a hearing aid in a variety of colors, with flexible options to be worn on one ear or both. We’ve also added a selection of our most popular Bitmoji stickers featuring the avatar with a cane.”
Facilitating more inclusion is an important step for Bitmoji, especially given Snap’s vision of Bitmoji characters to become ‘the world’s avatar’, available for use in a wide range of applications.
Digital avatars are set to become a critical element in the coming metaverse shift, with the vision being that, eventually, we’ll all be represented by character depictions in AR and VR environments. And while Bitmoji has predominantly been a 2D option up till now, Snap’s also looking to adapt the tool to enable people to use their Bitmoji representations in these new and emerging environments.
That also ties into Snap’s evolving efforts to facilitate sales of digital clothing, and provide retailers with new ways to promote their products via digital versions of their items that can be fitted to Bitmoji characters.
Right now, that largely aligns with the sale of real-world items – you put the clothes that you’d like to own in real life onto your Bitmoji character, and Snap is integrating buy options into these digital item displays to facilitate offline purchase.
But eventually, digital clothing will become a marketplace of its own, and Snap’s already well advanced in its plans to enable retailers to sell virtual items within the Snap platform.
Which, again, is why maximizing inclusion is important, in order to provide more comprehensive options to create your virtual self.
And they’re already proving popular – according to Snap, its stickers depicting Bitmoji charaters in wheelchairs, which it launched last March, have already been shared over 30 million times.
“Through the launch of these stickers, we’ve seen positive reactions and engagement with our products, and received additional feedback from people who wanted to see themselves in more parts of Snapchat.”
It’s a logical and positive advance for Snap’s Bitmoji tools, which will become more significant, and prevalent, over time.