TikTok announced today that it is launching a new Avatars feature designed to help users showcase their individuality in the app. The launch makes TikTok the latest social media app to add avatar feature as it is now part of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and more.
You can access the new avatar feature by opening the TikTok camera and going to the effects section in the app and clicking on “TikTok avatars”. From there you will see a panel of template avatars. You can try out the template avatars or click “New” to create your own custom avatar. You can create your avatar by choosing from a range of hairstyles, accessories, piercings and makeup. TikTok says it built the avatar feature to be inclusive, from outfits to skin tones and hair color to texture.
Users can also try out the avatar voice effects to give their avatar a new voice by choosing a voice style and speaking into the microphone. You can try out different voice styles and choose the one you like the most. Tapping on the different voice styles will add or remove them from your avatar. Once you are happy with your avatar, you can start recording videos. When you record a video, you can become your avatar as it mimics the way you move and follows your gestures.
There is also a thumbnail avatar option where you can choose an avatar and add it to your video. You can resize the thumbnail avatar and place it anywhere on your screen. Users also have the option to change their thumbnail avatar’s responses by tapping the various expressions displayed on the screen.
TikTok says it will continue to improve avatars to ensure the experience is representative of all users. The company notes that it plans to look to creators for feedback and listen to its community. In addition to user feedback, TikTok is working with the Creator Diversity Collective to ensure the feature is inclusive.
“We are excited to see how people are using Avatars to express their creativity and continue to explore ways to bring Avatars into more TikTok experiences, build spaces on TikTok for self-expression, and expand on the ways in which connecting and creating people in our global community,” TikTok said in a blog post about the announcement.
TikTok’s new avatars are similar to Snapchat’s Bitmoji feature, which has been around since 2016 and has been updated in recent years. One of several updates is Bitmoji TV and the ability for users to play as their Bitmoji in third-party games. TikTok’s new feature is also similar to Meta’s Avatars, which was the answer to Bitmoji’s. Meta recently brought its avatars to Instagram and rolled out updated avatars to Facebook and Messenger. The company also now allows users to bring the same avatar across all Meta platforms, including VR.
While avatars aren’t entirely new, the addition to TikTok will give users a new way to create content on the app. In addition to being a new way of expressing yourself, the avatar feature can also come in handy for people who don’t want to show their face in videos and prefer to maintain an aspect of anonymity.
TikTok avatars are being rolled out worldwide for all users.