After Stories, Camera Effects, and more such features, Facebook is now said to be cloning yet another Snapchat idea. The social media giant is working on upping its emoji game with avatars, like the popular Bitmoji. Facebook Avatars will let users build a personalised and illustrated version of themselves to use as a sticker in comments as well as on Messenger. The new feature has been discovered in code hidden in its Android application package by a developer.
The Facebook Avatars feature was found by developer Jane Manchun Wong. Since the feature has been discovered in the Facebook app code, it is still in the testing phase. It will let users customise their avatar to showcase their skin colour, hairstyle, and facial features. Facebook confirmed this finding in a statement to TechCrunch. “We’re looking into more ways to help people express themselves on Facebook,” the company was quoted as saying. It further explained, “Your Facebook Avatar is a whole new way to express yourself on Facebook. Leave expressive comments with personalised stickers. Use your new avatar stickers in your Messenger group and private chats.”
Notably, the Facebook Avatars feature is still early in development and the company is not sure when it will start publicly testing. It is not clear what the Avatars will look like nor is there any information on how they will work beyond stickers in comments or texts in Messenger. Also, there is no clarity on whether they will be dynamic, with quickly changeable expressions, possibly similar to Samsung’s AR Emoji.
This is not the first time that Facebook has cloned a Snapchat feature. Notably, Snap had acquired Bitmoji back in 2016 at roughly $100 million (roughly Rs. 665 crores), and it is arguably one of Snapchat’s most popular features. So, it is a surprise that Facebook has waited so long to get unveil a similar feature.