TikTok launches a new feature that allows users to turn themselves into custom animated avatars in the style of Apple’s Memoji, Snapchat’s Bitmoji, and Meta’s Avatars.
The feature is rolling out globally today and can be accessed through the app’s camera in addition to TikTok’s various other effects. To use the feature on yourself, open the app, put the camera in selfie mode, tap effects and select the avatar effect. You can then use a preset look or click “new” to create a custom avatar. It allows you to customize your avatar’s face shape, skin tone, hairstyle, and accessories, including makeup and piercings. You can then record a video where the avatar follows your movements and facial expressions.
TikTok says it wants to make the feature as inclusive as possible and will continue to “improve and innovate to ensure the experience is truly representative of everyone on TikTok”. News of the feature leaked for the first time earlier this year†
Interestingly, so many social media platforms have now embraced custom avatars as a way for people to communicate without the pressure to do so “in person.” But while Snapchat and iMessage use Bitmoji and Memoji to communicate with people you (mostly) know, TikTok’s avatars can be used by pseudonymous content creators. This is a trend that has already taken off on YouTube with VTubers and could certainly be embraced on a platform like TikTok. Users can even combine their custom avatars with TikTok’s pre-existing voice effects for further anonymity.