WhatsApp has been beefing up the instant messaging application with a number of features over the past few months to make usage easier and also to help the Meta-owned app compete with rivals like Telegram. Now, WhatsApp seems to be working on the newest trick up its sleeve – emoji-inspired avatars in video calls.
A new report by WABetaInfo suggests WhatsApp is working on users appear as animated avatars in video calls. These animated avatars will replace WhatsApp profile pictures or the feed from your phone’s front camera on demand. The fun feature has reportedly been in development for a while and is still not in its final form.
The screenshot shared by WABetaInfo simply shows a new button that says ‘Switch to avatar’ that users will need to press to switch from the live front camera feed to their animated avatars. Beta users who see the button pop up during video calls shouldn’t get too excited yet, though, as the button is not yet functional.
Animated avatars will be a neat addition to WhatsApp’s lacklustre video call experience, which doesn’t offer any filters or fun features like say, Google Duo does. However, we still don’t know what kind of animated avatars WhatsApp will implement in the future. These could be 2D or 3D.
We should find out more details on the same once WhatsApp enables the functionality when the ‘Switch to avatar’ switch is pressed. There is currently no timeline on when this could be enabled so we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath over it as it could even take months before the feature comes to beta in its final avatar and even longer for it to make it to the stable version of the app.