Avatars are officially coming to WhatsApp. The customizable, expressive characters, which are already available on Facebook and Instagram, can now be used as profile pictures on the messaging service or sent in the form of one of 36 custom stickers.

WhatsApp introduces avatars
The process of customizing the cartoony virtual characters is similar to Apple’s Memoji, except WhatsApp’s avatars also include bodies for customizing additional outfits, which makes them resemble how users could one day look in Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a future metaverse.

Apart from being fun, Meta says the avatars will boost privacy and personalization. “Sending an avatar is a fast and fun way to share feelings with friends and family,” the company wrote in a blog post. “It can also be a great way to represent yourself without using your real photo so it feels more private.”

To see if the feature has rolled out to you yet, open WhatsApp, go to the Settings screen, then check under your profile picture for an Avatar menu option. From there you’ll be able to create an avatar using a variety of outfits, hairstyles, and facial features, offering users “billions of combinations” for creating their virtual analogue, according to Meta.

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