avatars on whatsapp

WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app owned by Meta Platforms, announced that it will soon launch a feature that allows users to create 3D avatars that can be used as profile pictures or stickers.

This new option will be available to users worldwide and it is considered by WhatsApp as a new and personalized way to express yourself”. Users will also be able to choose among 36 different custom stickers made out of the avatar image that will showcase different emotions.

The introduction of 3D avatars to Meta’s social platforms could be considered the latest step from the company to bring users closer to their version of the metaverse. For Meta, WhatsApp could be one of the best platforms to promote this technology as it would allow users to have more personal interactions.

The messaging app did not provide further details about the rollout of this new feature but sources have confirmed that users will be notified via push when they can start creating this 3D image of themselves. An update of the app will probably have to be installed.

In January this year, Meta Platforms (META) rolled out the same feature for Instagram and Facebook. Sources also confirmed that avatars from the two social media apps will not be available on WhatsApp.

Latest WhatsApp Updates Signal an Ongoing Monetization Effort

WhatsApp has been introducing several updates lately at a point when its parent company is looking for ways to ramp up its financial performance. The messaging app remains the company’s most valuable but un-monetized asset.

In mid-November, WhatsApp launched the beta version of a business search module that allows users to locate vendors nearby by using a search tool. This would save people time as they will be able to reach out to these stores and businesses within the WhatsApp ecosystem easily and without having to perform a web search.

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This feature will be initially available in a handful of countries including Brazil, Colombia, the United Kingdom, and Mexico but the company expects to roll it out globally quite soon.

In addition, WhatsApp may soon support in-app payments for buying goods and services from the companies that have signed up for WhatsApp Business. This feature is already live in India and is being tested in Brazil.

For the messaging app, supporting in-app payments will be a closer step to monetizing its large user base of over 2 billion as it could open up further revenue streams such as collecting commissions from vendors for every sale or allowing them to somehow advertise their businesses within the app.

Meta Platforms is Having a Tough Time Selling its Metaverse Idea to Investors

The company headed by Mark Zuckerberg has been forced to make some uncomfortable decisions lately such as letting go of more than 11,000 employees in November as it seeks to trim its operating expenditures at a time when advertising revenues are expected to decline.

Meanwhile, the firm’s pivot to the metaverse has been a costly initiative that is far from producing a positive contribution to the company’s top and bottom line as reflected by the firm’s latest quarterly report.

During the first nine months of 2022, the Reality Labs unit – the business segment that incorporates all of the company’s metaverse activities – generated $1.4 billion in revenue and operating losses of $6.9 billion.

Thus far in 2022, Meta Platforms stock accumulates a 66.1% loss as investors have become increasingly concerned about the large amount of capital that the company is investing in this endeavor and whether the returns will pay off in the long run.

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