Back in 2017, WhatsApp launched its own emoji set for its messaging app. The Meta-owned platform now seems to be preparing to let users create custom virtual avatars as well. These avatars can be used during video calls or sent in conversations, the ever-reliable folks at WABetaInfo have discovered.
According to the report, this new WhatsApp feature is currently in development. A screenshot shared by the publication shows users will see a “Switch to avatar” button on the screen while making video calls. The button is overlaid on the video feed. Tapping it lets you stream a custom avatar instead of your video.
You can also send your custom avatars as stickers in chats. WhatsApp will allow you to send these custom stickers in one-to-one conversations as well as in groups. As far as creating the avatar is concerned, the popular messaging service will have a dedicated section called “Avatar Editor” within the app. It’s like an alternative to Memoji/Bitmoji.
Unfortunately, we don’t have much info about WhatsApp’s Avatar Editor. So it’s unclear how it will work and what level of customization the app will offer. Hopefully, we will know about that soon.
WABetaInfo spotted these under-development WhatsApp features within the beta version 22.214.171.124 for Android. But the publication confirms that the iOS version of the instant messaging app will also get these custom avatar capabilities.
WhatsApp is developing custom avatars for video calls
As said before, WhatsApp is still developing this feature. It is yet to be available to beta users as well. The screenshot below shows an early iteration of its implementation but everything is non-functional. If things go as planned, the company may roll out the ability to create custom avatars for video calls in the beta channel in the coming weeks. A stable rollout will follow after that. But keep in mind that nothing is set in stone yet. We will let you know as and when we have more information.
Meanwhile, in a related development, WhatsApp is also working on making heart emojis of all colors beat in chats. Currently, the beating animation only applies to the red-colored heart emoji. The company is internally testing similar animation for the rest of the heart emojis on the platform. This change has been in development since last year. So we might soon see it roll out to the public, at least in the beta channel. We will keep you posted.