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WhatsApp Adds Customizable Avatar Emoji for Chats

The customizable characters arrive in the chat app this week.

WhatsApp avatars announcement

WhatsApp is adding avatars, custom stickers that can be customized with different hair styles, faces and clothing options. The Meta-owned chat app announced the new feature in a blog post Wednesday, and it's rolling out this week.

The avatar feature is similar to those of several other messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger (also owned by Meta) and the Memoji feature in Apple's iMessage. After creating a custom character, WhatsApp will give you 36 different stickers that will display the avatar with various emotions and actions.

The addition is the latest feature designed to help bring WhatsApp up to parity with its rivals. Recent additions have included the ability to text notes to oneself, create large Communities similar to Telegram's Groups and 32-person video calls.

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Meta's WhatsApp has also been engaging in an advertising campaign against Apple's iMessage, promoting itself as a cross-platform messaging option with end-to-end encryption. Google has been running a similar campaign, which targets Apple's iMessage while promoting its own Messages app on Android powered by the RCS texting standard. However, unlike WhatsApp, Google's Messages app is currently an Android-only experience.

Meanwhile, Apple's iMessage has spent the fall adding several new features via iOS 16 updates, including the ability to unsend and edit text messages.

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