Nearly a year after piloting its customizable caricatures, Facebook this week announced the US launch of Avatars. Use the Bitmoji-like stickers to share personalized sentiments across the social network—in comments, Stories, and texts.
“So much of our interactions these days are taking place online, which is why it’s more important than ever to be able to express yourself personally on Facebook,” Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook App, wrote on Wednesday. “Avatars enable you to share a range of emotions and expressions via a digital persona that’s uniquely representative of you, so we’re excited to bring this new form of self-expression to more people around the world.”
Facebook has been developing a Bitmoji rival since at least 2018. The company formally introduced Avatars last summer—exclusive to Australia, with the promise of global access by 2020. Now, folks in the US can build their own cartoon persona via the Facebook or Messenger comment composer > “smiley” icon > sticker tab > “Create Your Avatar.” Select from a range of body types, skin colors, hairstyles, and outfits to best represent you—or whoever you want to be.
“There are so many different ways you can use your avatar, including in comments, Stories, Messenger—and soon text posts with backgrounds, too,” Simo teased in a Facebook post. “With so many emotions and expressions to choose from, avatars let you react and engage more authentically with family and friends across the app.”
Simo’s announcement garnered a mixed bag of responses—from folks complaining they’ve not yet gained access (she promised a full roll out “by end of day”) to those sharing their newly created Avatars in a series of congratulatory poses. Look for new hairstyles, complexions, and outfits as the feature continues rolling out to more users.