Instagram Avatars are here, and they could shake up the internet as we know it.
As Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explained in a recent video: "Avatars are a key building block for the future of personal identity in the metaverse."
In short, the metaverse is coming – ready or not – and these fun little digital personas are the first part of the puzzle.
What Are Instagram Avatars?
Instagram Avatars are customizable 3D personas. They can mirror your physical traits, or reflect how you want to be perceived online.
And it turns out, they're way more fun and inclusive than we expected.
You can customize almost everything – outfits, hairstyles, facial lines, and beyond. It's like an advanced version of The Sims.
Unlike previous avatar apps, Instagram has skipped the option to define a gender. Instead, there are simply customization options that are expressive of gender.
Avatars can also have their own "digital goods" that are stored in limitless backpacks, purses, or pockets.
Read: NFTs have entered the chat. 👋
At the moment, Instagram Avatars can only be used on stories and DMs – but the future of Avatars holds a whole lot more.
According to Mosseri, Avatars will be the virtual identity you use to show up across the metaverse – whether that's "an app built by Meta or another company."
How to Create an Instagram Avatar
Instagram Avatars are currently available in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with more regions to follow in the coming months.
To create a 3D avatar in Instagram:
Tap the menu icon at the top-right corner side of your Instagram profile page
Alternatively, head to your Instagram Stories sticker tray and select the "Avatar" sticker:
From here, you'll be able to create your custom avatar through a series of on-screen prompts.
What Do Instagram Avatars Mean for the Future of the Metaverse?
For most people, alternate digital realities with tradable non-fungible tokens (aka NFTs) belong solely in sci-fi films.
But not for the big bosses at Instagram's parent company, Facebook.
They're going all in on the metaverse – hence their rebrand to Meta last year.
And Instagram Avatars are the first step towards making the metaverse a reality, if you'll excuse the pun.
As Mosseri explains, "In the future, we think the internet will evolve into a more immersive experience – something we like to call the metaverse."
"And if you're going to be in these virtual worlds, you have to find a way to show up with a visual representation of who you are."
The summary? The internet, and how we use it, is going to change – and Instagram Avatars are just phase one.
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