“Your avatar is a digital version of you that can be created from billions of combinations of diverse hairstyles, facial features, and outfits,” said Meta in a post on Wednesday.
Users are also able to customize them by adding details including race, skin tone, clothes, and accessories.
The introduction of avatars is long overdue on WhatsApp. Other social media platforms, including WhatsApp competitor Telegram, and Meta-owned social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, have had a range of stickers to choose from ages. Meta gave WhatsApp similar stickers to those already available on Facebook. The company, which also owns Instagram, had previously mentioned its plans to make similar avatars available across its platforms.
The new avatars on WhatsApp resemble Facebook’s avatars. To create an avatar, users can go to their settings, tap “Avatar”, then “Create your Avatar” and follow the prompts.
“When you send an avatar sticker to another user, they can react with an emoji, reply or forward the message to others,’ says WhatsApp.
WhatsApp shared a video this week on how the avatars work.
Video: Avatars on WhatsApp
If you’re not comfortable with your contacts seeing an animated version of yourself, you’ll be able to hide the avatar on your WhatsApp profile picture in a similar way you did with your ‘normal’ profile picture.
“The privacy setting of your current profile photo will apply to your new avatar profile photo,” says WhatsApp.
Users are also able to choose from 36 custom stickers reflecting different emotions and actions.
WhatsApp says it is working on new features for avatars. It plans to introduce the ability for you and your contacts to create multi-character stickers using each other’s avatars.