Facebook Avatars, which allow users to customize a virtual lookalike for themselves to use as stickers in chat and comments, are now available in India, the largest social truck market by user account.
The U.S. firm said on Tuesday that it had launched Avatars in India as more social interactions moved online amid a national foreclosure in the world’s second largest Internet market. The company said Avatars supports a variety of custom faces, hairstyles and outfits for users in India.
The launch of Avatars arrives in India at the height of the backlash against Chinese apps in the country – some of which posed serious competition from Facebook’s ever-growing tentacles in Asia’s third economy. On Monday evening, New Delhi ordered a ban on TikTok and nearly 60 other applications developed by Chinese companies.
The social giant Avatars, a clone of the popular Snapchat Bitmoji, were unveiled last year. The functionality, which Facebook considers as a tool of expression, aims to transform commitments into fun, young, visually communicative and “lighter” social services.
Users can create their avatar from the sticker bar in the comments section of a news feed publication or in Messenger. Facebook has extended the Avatars, initially available to users in Australia and New Zealand, Europe and the United States in recent weeks.
Dozens of companies, including Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, have attempted to replicate Bitmoji in recent years, although no one has developed it like Snapchat.
Earlier this year, Snapchat presented Bitmoji TV, a 4-minute cartoon series with user avatars. At the time, Snapchat said that around 70% of its daily active users, or 147 million of its 210 million users, had created their own Bitmojis.
Snapchat is preparing to launch Spectacles, its AR glasses, in India. The California-based firm has so far struggled to gain ground in India, where it had about 30 million monthly active users last month, according to mobile intelligence firm App Annie, including a business executive. industry shared data with ClearTipsNews. Facebook has amassed more than 350 million users in India and its WhatsApp instant messaging service has more than 400 million users in the country.