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Meta is going to let you make video calls as your avatar


Meta is rolling out the ability to show up on video calls in Messenger and Instagram as your virtual Meta avatar, the company announced on Tuesday. The new feature marks a notable expansion of what you can do with its avatar system, which it has been slowly building out as part of its metaverse vision.

Based on a short video in Meta’s blog post about the news, it appears using your Meta avatar in a call will look somewhat like using one of Apple’s Memoji avatars on a FaceTime call. Meta’s avatars also follow your facial expressions and mouth movements, which could make it easier to tell what someone is actually saying while they’re chatting with you as an avatar. The video shows users switching over to some sillier animal-themed avatars, including a cat, a dog, an owl, and a llama, so if you don’t want to be a person, you can pick your spirit animal instead.

Meta is also introducing animated avatar stickers, which will let your avatar be the one to actually give a thumbs up or roll on the floor laughing in a conversation. The animated stickers can be used in “Instagram and Facebook Stories and Reels, Facebook comments, and 1:1 message threads on Messenger and Instagram,” according to Meta’s blog post.

In addition to these feature improvements, Meta also says that it’s standardizing the way avatars look across VR and its family of apps. “No one wants to look like a cake pop, and now, you don’t have to,” Meta wrote. (I’m still waiting on legs in Horizon Worlds.) The standardized look will make your avatar appear more realistic and “also means you’ll be better able to show off your ’fits,” which could entice you to spend money on virtual clothes from the company’s avatar store.


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