17 May 2020 22:37
Facing a barrage of little cartoon renderings of your friends and family? Thank Facebook, which recently rolled out its avatar feature. And thank quarantine, for those endless, indistinguishable hours of scrolling on social media. What are these avatars? Here's an overview.
Think Bitmoji — the "emoji" that is supposed to look like you — with a bit less nuance... OK, a lot less. Like Bitmoji, these Facebook avatars, once made, can be inserted into any Facebook comment or Messenger chat. After you make your selections to create something that may vaguely resemble a bizarro you, you are given pre-formulated reaction stickers that you can use for various occasions and responses. First, you have to make some choices — like hair color, skin color, complexion (that mostly means freckles and beauty marks), eye shape, nose shape, eyebrow type, glasses, hats and wardrobe. The results can be so hilariously off it's actually worth trying, even if you don't approve of the end product. To make your avatar, click on the smiley face in the comment field, then look for the little purple icon with the tongue.Facebook How to get your Facebook avatar Here's how to find the avatar maker on Facebook. Go to the Facebook mobile app. You may have noticed a "make your avatar" button when someone else posts their new avatar. If you haven't seen that yet, go to a Facebook post as if you're going to comment on it (do it on one of your own posts, if you fear accidentally leaving a comment). Then click on the smiley face icon, which will bring you to the emoji and stickers. Find the little purple guy with the red tongue. Click on him. Voila, you're ready to make your avatar, or as Facebook calls it, "a new way to be you on Facebook and Messenger." Avatars are customized through skin color, hairstyle, face shape, wardrobe and other details.Facebook Pick from among the various options: face shape, hair type, facial features, body type and wardrobe (even if it is absolutely terrible or completely off — you can just approximate for the sake of the exercise). Accessories are optional. It may help to have someone else (if you're in the company of someone else) or a mirror help you decipher which option is closest to your actual features. No one seems to be opting for the facial/age lines. We don't wonder why. But go crazy if you feel the need. Picking a hair color is just one part of the journey, and much easier than determining face shape.Facebook At the end, you can click the arrow next to your finished avatar to share it to your feed or make it your profile picture. If none of those options appeal to you (and they didn't to us), you can either edit your avatar once again by clicking on the pencil icon or check out the array of possible stickers that use your avatar: you with hearts for eyes, for when you really heart something. You "sending hugs." You wishing someone happy birthday or good night. You with your head exploding. After you pick facial hair (or skip that part), you can customize with color.Facebook Now, every time you move to comment on a post, if you click on the smiley icon, you will get an array of possible reactions using your avatar (along with the option to edit the avatar before using one). Again, we're just the messenger. Don't blame us if your horrid avatar causes you to have a momentary crisis in quarantine. If anything, try to use it as an opportunity to laugh at your stupid face! Once you make your avatar, you'll be presented with various stickers you can use in comments and messages.Facebook Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription. Tell us your coronavirus story. Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at [email protected] or send a tip here.