Under Meta’s ownership, the messenger app WhatsApp is purportedly gearing up to introduce animated avatars for video calls, a development echoing Apple’s Memoji, speculated to have been in progress since the previous year.
WABetaInfo, a standalone portal that provides real-time updates on WhatsApp developments, has stated that the messaging app has implemented the functionality for conducting video calls using animated avatars in its latest beta release for Android, version 184.108.40.206.
To inform users about this novel feature, WhatsApp is utilizing a pop-up banner that presents an option to “utilize your avatar during calls”, offering the alternatives to either “Switch to avatar” or click on “Not now”. To engage with the animated avatar during video calls, users should opt for the “Switch to avatar” preference, replicating real-time facial expressions and movements through the avatar character.
Users retain the flexibility to deactivate this feature via the settings, allowing them to revert to their real appearance. Integrating this avatar feature does not negate the end-to-end encryption present, thereby maintaining user privacy and security. However, it is noted that WhatsApp intends to utilize some data to enhance the avatar functionality within the app.
The development of avatar reactions for status updates is also underway, although specific details regarding its launch remain undisclosed.