Meta, on 31 January 2022, introduced a series of updated 3D Avatars for its users on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram Stories and DMs.
The option to express their own selves virtually through feeds, stickers and profile pictures is currently available to users in the US, Canada and Mexico. The option is available across the Meta platforms, including the Quest VR.
In a blog post, Aigerim Shorman, General Manager for Avatars and Identity at Meta, said that the company made Avatars in VR “more expressive, more customisable and more diverse” last year and aims to expand it for more inclusivity.
“Today we’re taking that further, adding new facial shapes and assistive devices for people with disabilities. We will also be adding limited-time shirts for NFL fans to outfit their avatars in and celebrate their favourite teams,” reads Shorman’s post.
More options for millions of users of Meta Avatars
Inclusivity and more platforms
Shorman revealed that the 31 January update brings in Cochlear implants and over-the-ear hearing aids for the Avatars. These come in a wide range of colours.
Wheelchairs can be shown via stickers on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram DMs.
Besides the new features, Meta has also upgraded the look of the Avatars. Facial shapes and skin shades have been adjusted to increase authenticity. In an example, Shorman compared the features of two avatars — one from last year and one following the upgrade, revealing subtle changes to the facial structure.
Users will have more items to customise their avatars to look more like them. As such there are more types of eyes, noses, beards, hairstyles and outfits to choose from. More items will be added through 2022.
“This also marks the first time any of our Avatars have been available on Instagram,” noted Shorman.
NFL in Meta
Ahead of this year’s Super Bowl LVI, to be held on 13 February, Meta released a series of NFL-themed outfits for the user avatars to wear.
“We’re excited to partner with the NFL to bring NFL football fandom to Avatars,” wrote Shorman.
Users will now be able to dress their avatars as supporters of NFL teams Cincinnati Bengals or Los Angeles Rams till 28 February. There is also a special Super Bowl LVI shirt for those who choose to be neutral.
(Main and Featured images: Dima Solomin/@solomin_d/Unsplash)