TikTok‘s latest feature borrows a page from tech rivals Apple and Snap, allowing the platform’s users to create and customize their own avatars using a vast set of digitally rendered hair, clothes, accessories, body jewelry, makeup, and even different voice styles.
The avatars, which are similar to iOS’s Memojis and Snap’s Bitmoji, are created using a user’s camera’s motion-detecting functionality. The user opens their phone’s camera and then TikTok. They then select Avatar in the apps effects menu. Tik Tok provides a set of avatar templates to get started or users can simply homebrew their own avatar. Once the Avatar is made, users can start making videos with it.
As per TikTok‘s website, users can “Choose from an array of hairstyles, accessories, piercings and makeup, to create a TikTok Avatar that reflects your personal look and style. After your Avatar is ready, you can start recording videos. As you gesture and move, your Avatar will mimic your motion.”
Once created, the avatar will mimic the user’s motion and speech mirroring any action they make before the camera.
While the feature apes the function of the Memojis and Bitmojis, avatars will also have the added function of a miniature icon as well which users can add to the screen to display reactions such as “love” or “crying”.
On its website, TikTok reached out to its userbase to ask for feedback in order to make the feature as inclusive and accessible as possible. The company’s blogpost stated:
“We’re excited to launch the first version of TikTok Avatars globally and will continue to improve and innovate to make sure the experience is truly representative of all who are on TikTok. From outfits to skin tones and hair color down to texture, building inclusive features and experiences remains our priority, and we’ll continue to listen to our community and look to creators for feedback at every step of its development. Alongside user feedback, we’re working with our Creator Diversity Collective to make this the most inclusive and representative experience for our community.”
Most users should be able to use the feature after updating their app.