Facebook has launched its Avatars feature in South Africa, allowing local users of the platform to create digital personas online.
This feature allows users to create a cartoon version of themselves which can be used on a variety of Facebook platforms, services, and features, including in comments, Stories, Messenger, and soon, text posts with backgrounds.
Avatars are customisable with various hairstyles, complexions, outfits, and even COVID-19 support stickers.
“Facebook is home to some of your most personal content and we want to allow people to share and react to that content in the most personalised way possible,” said Regional Director of Facebook Africa Nunu Ntshingila.
“We’re excited to give people more options to convey their identity on Facebook, allowing them to share in a more personal, light-hearted way.”
To create your avatar, you must navigate to the Facebook or Messenger comment composer, click on the smiley button, and then navigate to the sticker tab.
From here, users must click on the “create your avatar” option.
Avatars include hundreds of global sticker packs and integrations with GIF providers and can also be shared across Facebook and Messenger by:
- Setting as Profile Picture
- Sharing to News Feed
- Using on Gaming Profile
Facebook also recently launched its new TikTok competitor, called Reels, which allows users to edit and publish 15-second clips together with music.
This new platform is embedded within Instagram and follows in the footsteps of Stories in taking inspiration from popular competing apps and integrating their core feature into the Instagram platform.
The launch of Reels comes as TikTok is under fire from US President Donald Trump, who has said that TikTok’s US assets must be sold to a US company if it wishes to avoid being banned in the country.
Trump believes that TikTok is a threat to US national security because it could give US citizens’ information to the Chinese government.