It's been a rollercoaster few months for WhatsApp users. The Meta-owned brand have introduced a wide array of new features for the platform, which have totally transformed the experience.
We recently got Channels, which looks to connect those who are mutually interested in similar topics. There was also a new feature allowing users to share their screen on a video call, for easier communication. And that is just the tip of the iceberg – it seems like there's a new feature every week at the moment!
Now, another one has been spotted, and though it's not yet officially released, we're still excited. It makes another change to video calling on the platform, enabling users to dub their face with an Avatar.
The idea is that you can replace your face on the call with your WhatsApp Avatar, which will even mimic changes on your face. It's currently in beta testing, and has been spotted on the latest WhatsApp beta version.
It's a similar premise to Apple's Memoji for Facetime calls on iPhone. But with this, you aren't tied down by which device you use – simply having the WhatsApp app will be enough.
It's an interesting upgrade for WhatsApp users. Sure, you could be cynical and say it's a ploy from Meta to garner more acceptance for their metaverse avatars, but I don't see it that way.
Instead, I think this is something fun and different. It's quirky and gives people a new way to represent themselves on video calls, without losing the feeling of actually having a conversation with someone.
I think there are some really great applications for it, too. There are vast swathes of people who, for a variety of reasons, aren't especially comfortable showing themselves off on camera. Those users could make use of an avatar which is recognisable, but still offers a degree of privacy for online interactions.
There's no confirmation of when the feature will be publicly available right now. However, the fact that it's available in a beta version is a good sign. That surely means it is far more likely to arrive in a public version later on.