Meta has upped its inclusivity game by adding new body shapes, hair, and sporty clothes for avatars.
The social media giant which owns Instagram and Facebook and WhatsApp says it now has more than one billion avatars across its platforms. The multiracial avatars range from curvy to skinny characters with a range of hairstyles including afros, straight hair, and grey hair on older-looking representations. Some even have a bun or headwraps on their heads.
“We’re adding a handful of new avatar body shapes to help you better express yourself — especially if expressing yourself means dancing along to “Hips Don’t Lie,” says Meta in a blog post this week.
Meta says that to date, its avatars all had a similar look.
“Until now, though, the body shape options available when creating your avatar were all pretty similar. Maybe a little rectangular.”
This update is great news for Meta platform users, but there’s still a long way to go if Meta is to truly offer its diverse users a decent amount of representation.
“Starting this month, you’ll be able to choose from a wider range of body shape options, including two curvier body shapes,” it says.
It says it’ll continue to add subtle details to avatars in order to give them unique personalities.
The social media company partnered with PUMA to add seven outfits with various textures to the Meta Avatars Store.
“We’re adding a bit more sparkle to your eyes, brushing some volume into your hair, and making clothes look more realistic and textured,” it says.
All this diversity isn’t necessarily free. You’ll pay for it. Not with money, but with a bit of privacy or the lack thereof. These avatars are not private. They can be viewed by anyone on and off Facebook.
“As a reminder, when you create an avatar and share it across our technologies it will be public to other people,” it says.
Here’s how you can control your avatar permissions.