Facebook Brings Avatars to the US

It began testing the Bitmoji clone feature last June

Facebook also introduced new customizations for Avatars Facebook
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Avatars, Facebook’s Bitmoji clone feature, debuted in the U.S. Wednesday.

The social network began testing Avatars in Australia last June, for use in comments on Messenger From Facebook and in News Feed, and it had been extended to New Zealand, as well, before being rolled out in Europe last month.

Facebook described Avatars as digital personas that let people engage in a more personal, dynamic way, with a range of emotions and expressions via stickers, messages and Stories.

Avatars can also be used in Facebook Gaming profiles and they will soon be extended to text posts with backgrounds.

Facebook also introduced new customizations for Avatars Wednesday, including new hairstyles and complexions.

Avatars can be created via the comment composer on Facebook or Messenger by clicking on the smiley face icon and selecting Make Your Avatar.

The process can also be started via bookmarks by entering them via the three horizontal lines at the bottom-right of the screen, clicking See More and choosing Avatars.

Or users can click on Avatar stickers if they see one that was shared by one of their friends.

Existing Avatars can be edited via users’ profiles, the comment composer, bookmarks or Avatar stickers.

Facebook application head Fidji Simo said in a post, “So many of our interactions these days are taking place online, which is why it’s more important than ever to be able to express yourself personally on Facebook. Avatars enable you to share a range of emotions and expressions via a digital persona that’s uniquely representative of you, so we’re excited to bring this new form of self-expression to more people around the world.”

She continued, “There are so many different ways you can use your Avatar, including in comments, Stories, Messenger—and soon text posts with backgrounds, too. With so many emotions and expressions to choose from, Avatars let you react and engage more authentically with family and friends across the app. It’s important to us that you can personalize your Avatar so that it represents your unique, authentic self, which is why we’re also adding in a new range of customizations, too—such as new hairstyles, complexions and outfits.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.