Facebook is adding more ways to express yourself or react to posts on its platform. The social media behemoth on Monday announced new Avatars features that will let you customize a virtual lookalike of yourself, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine reports.
In what looks like another shot at Snapchat, the Avatars, which are currently only available in Australia but can be seen all over the world, will let you personalize your Avatar’s face, hair, and clothes.
You can use them to express or react to posts in addition to what is already available such as Likes, and Reactions. Once again, it is like taking a shot at Snapchat because the Avatars are like Bitmojis made popular by the ephemeral picture-sharing app.
Facebook’s Avatar will be available for use in Messenger and News Feed comment in Australia, but won’t be available for the rest of the world until later this year or early next year. With the launch, Facebook is probably working towards making its platform more appealing to youths. It really couldn’t have come at a better time considering series of privacy issues plaguing it in the last couple of months.
“There’s been a ton of work put in to this from the product and design perspective to find out, with how many people on Facebook, how to make this as representative as possible” Facebook Avatars communication manager Jimmy Raimo said per TechCrunch. “They’re a bit more realistic so they can be your personal avatar vs trying to make them cute, funny, and cartoony” Raimo added
Facebook users in Australia will start seeing a smiley-face button in the News Feed comment composer and Messenger sticker chooser that can be tapped to create their Avatar.
In what is gradually shaping up as the biggest news coming out from Facebook, the social media behemoth is reportedly working on its own digital coin. This has been in the public domain for a while now—Facebook has never hidden the fact that it was eyeing the cryptocurrency market. For most of us who have been following this story, it was only a matter of time before a timeline was placed on it. Now, it seems we are getting closer by the day. It looks like 2020 is the magic year, and the name of the cryptocurrency Facebook is set to launch in the coming year is “GlobalCoin.”
GlobalCoin is set to roll out in about a dozen countries in the year 2020—the first quarter to be precise. The social media giant is expected to start detailing its plans in the summer, and has reportedly spoken to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met with Mr Carney last month to discuss the possibilities as well as risks involved in launching a cryptocurrency. Facebook is also reportedly seeking advice on operational and regulatory issues from officials of the US Treasury.