Meta has announced on Monday that it is rolling out its updated 3D avatars to Facebook, Messenger and Instagram (via DMs and Stories). The new design will allow users to bring the same avatar across Meta's platforms, including VR.
The announcement stated that users in the United States, Canada and Mexico can now show up as their virtual selves in stickers, feed posts, Facebook profile pictures and more.
The update adds Cochlear implants and over-the-ear hearing aids in several colors on all platforms, including VR. The update also brings wheelchairs, which can appear in stickers on Facebook, in Messenger chats and Instagram Stories and DMs. Meta is also improving the look of avatars by adjusting certain facial shapes to make them appear more authentic. The company says it plans to continue to add more items to the avatar editor.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement posted to his Facebook profile that the new update is equipped with a lot more features, and experiments with digital clothing too.
“We’re updating Meta avatars with a lot more expressions, faces and skin tones, as well as wheelchairs and hearing aids,”
“We’re starting to experiment with digital clothing too. You can use your avatar across Quest, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. One day you’ll have multiple avatars ranging from expressive to photorealistic. Looking forward to sharing more soon.”
Any changes users make to their avatar on Facebook and Messenger will automatically appear on Instagram as well, and vice versa. Users also has the option to create different avatars for different platforms.
Meta is also partnering with the NFL to give fans a way to celebrate their favorite team ahead of the Super Bowl. From now until February 28th, users can choose to support the Cincinnati Bengals or the Los Angeles Rams via their avatars. There’s also a neutral Super Bowl LVI shirt for users who don’t want to pick a team.
Meta’s general manager for avatars and identity, Aigerim Shorman said in a blog post that VR and Quest are key parts of its vision as an interconnected digital world.
“VR and Quest are key parts of our metaverse vision, but we see the metaverse as an interconnected digital world, one that bridges VR and AR, in addition to more familiar platforms like your phone and computer,”
“Rolling out avatars across our platforms is an early step towards making this a reality. We hope your new virtual self enables you to be represented online the way you want,” Shorman stated.
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