As the idea of a metaverse and avatars are picked in other messaging apps, Whatsapp too looks to be interested in the same as well. According to a recent post (opens in new tab) by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will be integrating avatars into the messaging app. The blog post shows that the feature in development would work during video calls.
As seen in the screenshot, the UI for video calls has been tweaked to include a new button below the video. At this time, the report states that the feature is not enabled and that it’s in the early development phase. It has been mentioned that the app gets an additional section named the “Avatar Editor” which will allow using the avatars as stickers in chats. Instagram recently added this feature too.
We could speculate that the feature might work similarly to Apple’s Animoji. Since all of the flagship devices from the iPhone X onwards come with dedicated Face ID hardware, WhatsApp could leverage it to create the avatars on its own platform too. For Android devices, the messaging app would have to rely entirely on front-facing cameras.
iOS users can create their own Memoji sets when setting up their avatars on iPhones. These are also available on WhatsApp through the stickers section. However, none of them can be used on the web interface or the desktop version of the app.
Meta is fully committed to the idea that the metaverse is the future of online social communities. So, it’s not surprising that the avatar feature was first rolled out to Facebook Messenger followed by Instagram. When the feature comes to WhatsApp as well, it would complete the changes to the ecosystem of Meta apps.
There are no details about how the avatars are managed on WhatsApp through the Avatar editor. However, we hope that Meta plans to make it easier for users to manage all their avatars in a single app or setting preferable on Facebook. Users can choose to create multiple avatars for different apps and set a default too. The experience would also be complete once the feature makes its way to the desktop app as well.
While there is much excitement for Windows and android users, users from iOS might just stick with Memojis. Reports from suggest that WhatsApp is developing an iPad as well as to macOS version of the app. Users may not go take the hassle of creating a new set of avatars again just for WhatsApp. This is why Meta needs to synchronize the feature across all its platforms.