We are currently living in dark times. The world remains in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, economies are on the brink of collapse, political turmoil has ripped apart nations, and the PS5 is really very big; maybe too big. All that coupled with lockdown and work from home limitations is enough to drive people mad. But Facebook is here to help.
While the world outside is seemingly wrapped in chaos, Facebook still remains a place where you can get happy updates from your friends or be reminded of when you went on an actual holiday. Now thanks to Facebook Avatars, you now have a new way to express yourself on the social network, further helping keep stifling boredom at bay. These are basically Facebook’s version of Bitmojis, in which you can reimagine yourself in cartoon form. Or if you hate your appearance, then you can stylise yourself as someone completely different, albeit still in cartoon form. This might sound a little fiddly, but the whole process is trivially easy and you can soon have a Facebook Avatar ready in moments.
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You can then use the avatar to create custom stickers that correspond to pre-formulated reactions. For example, you can have your avatar express laughter by rolling around in mirth or have your cartoon creation express sadness by bawling its eyes out
Currently, these avatars can only be used with the pre-formulated stickers, so are somewhat limited in scope. But they can be used in Messenger and to comment on Facebook posts, which should offer a little more flourish with how you express yourself on the social network.
How to make a Facebook Avatar
1. Login or set up a Facebook account
The first thing you’ll need to do to get on your way towards having a Facebook Avatar is to log into your Facebook account via the Android or iOS app. If you don’t have the app, it’s easily downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
2. Open the Facebook app menu
You’ll need to either tap on the three lines that represent the menu options in the Facebook app or swipe right a few times to access the menu option.
3. Select 'Avatars'
Once you're in the app menu, you’ll be shown a suite of options. Tap the ‘see more’ button, and you’ll see an ‘Avatars’ option. Tap on that.
4. Start creating your Facebook Avatar
Once you’re in the Avatars section, the rest of the process to create your Facebook Avatar is a simple case of following the on-screen instructions.
These will prompt you to start with your avatar’s skin tone, then will move onto hairstyle selection.
After that, you'll then be able to choose your eye color, eyebrows shape, face shape, facial hair and other attributes that define one's face. You can also select whether you want your avatar to wear glasses or lipstick.
And once you're done with creating your avatars head and face, you then have the option to choose your body shape and clothing style. And finally, you'll be able to select some form of headwear if you're feeling hat inclined.
Once you’re done, hit next and your avatar will be ready for use. It’s really that simple; there’s no need to upload photos or give Facebook any access to your data.
And you should then end up with an Avatar that's a rough approximation of yourself if that's what you're after; you can create any Avatar you like after all.
How to use your Facebook Avatar
So you have your Facebook Avatar created and ready to go; the next step is to use it. And that’s pretty easy as well.
You can share your Avatar on Facebook where it'll appear in your friends' News Feed. But Facebook will also create a set of pre-determined reaction stickers, used to express your feelings and sentiments towards a post or something in your Facebook feed or a chat with a Facebook friend. These vary from a simple thumbs up to popping a champagne cork or lying coquettishly by an open fireplace with a rose between your Avatar’s teeth.
1. Use your Facebook Avatar in comments
When you want to use your Avatar to express your thoughts on a post, simply tap the comment button and then the emoji button where you’ll be presented with your own avatar stickers, as well as the option to use standard emojis as well.
In the web version of Facebook, you’ll be able to do this a little more succinctly by clicking on the sticker button, where you’ll then be presented with your Avatar stickers as well as other more generic stickers.
2. Use Facebook Avatars in Messenger chats
You can also do the same for chat messages on the web version of Facebook. When you have a chat window open, click on the stickers button, which will present a suite of stickers to use. Then click on the icon that shows your Facebook Avatar, which will serve up a menu of custom Avatar stickers to use.
And the Avatar reaction stickers also work in the Messenger app. Simply tap on the emoji button in the chat bar, then tap on the stickers menu and swipe right to access your Avatar stickers, and you'll have a whole load of them to use to your heart's content.
That's about it. Facebook Avatars is still rolling out across the world, and there's a good chance the Avatars and the reaction stickers could be used in other Facebook-owned services. But we'll need to wait and see what Facebook does next.