Meta has a new reason for you to create an avatar: answering “video” calls when you don’t want to show your own face to someone.
From today, you can use your Meta avatar to answer calls on Messenger and Instagram on both Android phones and iOS devices.
“Sometimes, we’re just not camera-ready,” Meta said in an announcement Tuesday. “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a third option between camera-off and camera-on to let you feel a little more present on the call?”
More than 1 billion Meta avatars have been created, according to the company.
Meta introduced avatars as part of its push into the metaverse. The emergence of the metaverse, which can be loosely described as the next step of the internet where people will work, play games and socialize as avatars, led Facebook to change its company name to Meta in 2021.
Metaverse supporters like Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg see the metaverse as relying on AR glasses and VR headsets to interact with a 3D virtual world.
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How to create an avatar on Instagram
If you don’t yet have an avatar on Instagram (or didn’t even know they existed), here’s how to make one:
- Open the Instagram app on your phone.
- In the bottom right corner, tap on your profile picture.
- In the top left under your profile picture, tap Edit profile.
- Tap Edit picture or avatar.
- Tap on the little avatar image to the right.
- Tap Create avatar.
- You can then customize your avatar with skin color, hairstyle, hair color, face shape, outfit, body shape, lip size and color, earrings, head wear and facial hair.