Nod Looks to Add Emotion to Messaging With Animated Avatars

The Nod app allows users to create an avatar which animates as users send special emoji during conversations.

Social product company and incubator if(we) (formerly known as Tagged) has launched its messaging app Nod on iOS devices. Nod is focused on emotions, with the goal of making text messages feel more like real conversations thanks to animated avatars.

With Nod, users create an avatar by selecting its outfit, hairstyle and more, and will use this avatar to represent them during conversations. Users can invite their friends to join the app, or search for users based on username. During each conversation, both parties’ avatars remain at the top of the screen, and will animate as users send ‘nods,’ or special emoji, to one another.

For instance, sending a picture of a game controller would see the avatar put on a headset and pick up a controller as though it were playing a game, while a crying nod would cause the avatar to cry, and so on.

These animations play automatically, and users can tap on past nods to return to those animations. Outside of sharing nods, conversations support text, photos, links and regular emoji. Users can also change their base avatar’s appearance from within their conversations.

In a statement, Dash Gopinath, chief operating officer at if(we), commented:

Our mission is to enable meaningful connections between people. We know that people are looking for a better way to text, express themselves more effectively and to add emotion to their communication. Nod is a new product that we are launching to address this need and work toward a better way to connect people through text and messaging communication. This is an opportunity for us to learn more about this problem and gauge the effectiveness of this type of solution.

Nod is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store.