Want a custom emoji? Just take a selfie and use this app

Make your emojis a little more personal using Google and a selfie.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
Watch this: Turn your selfies into Google emojis

Make your own emojis with Google's Allo.


Attention, all recovering Bitmoji addicts and people love the sight of themselves in cartoon form:

Google just introduced a new way to turn your selfies into fun emojis that actually look like you using the art of Lamar Abrams. It's all created through Google's messaging app, Allo .

OK, chances are you don't use Allo -- I know I didn't -- but these selfie emojis are so fun it's worth a download. Here's how to get started:

  1. Tap on the conversation icon on the lower right side of the screen.
  2. Choose a person from your contacts (the app uploads your contacts from your phone) to message by tapping on their icon.
  3. In the message bar, tap on the Emoticon icon.
  4. Tap on the animated icon that has a camera icon beside it and you'll be taken to a new window.
  5. Tap the Create button.
  6. Your camera will open, but the screen will have two back circles on it. Position your phone so that your eyes are in the center of each circle. Pro tip: Make sure you are in good lighting or the app won't be able to figure out your hair style.
  7. Press the Camera button and the app will create a set of emojis based on your selfie.

If you like you're new emojis, but you want to personalize them more, press Customize to choose your face shape, hairstyle, facial features, makeup and extras. If you don't like them at all, tap Redo. If you love your emojis so much you don't want to customize them, tap Save.

When you're done, the app will take you back to the messaging area. The selfie emoji list will be open with all of your custom emojis to choose from. Just tap on one to send it.

The next time you want to send a selfie emoji sticker, tap on the + icon on the left side of the message bar. Your customized emoji menu will pop right up.


A sampling of my own selfie emojis.

Alina Bradford/CNET

What if my friends don't use Allo?

You don't want all of this emoji goodness to go to waste. So what do you do with your emojis if your friends don't use Allo? Send them anyway!

If your friend has an Android phone, they will get the message through the Allo system, even if they haven't downloaded the app. Google's tricky that way.

If they're on an iPhone , they'll get an SMS message. The SMS will include your sticker and a link to download the app. They don't have to download it, though. They can still answer you using their messaging system.