WhatsApp, one of the most widely used messaging applications, is reportedly working on an improved version of an avatar pack that features animated icons. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) resources from Meta, WhatsApp's avatar creation page can generate personalised animated avatars from a single image.
With the latest beta version 188.8.131.52 update for Android users from Google Play Store, WhatsApp is introducing an animated version of the current avatar pack. "A few beta testers may finally experiment with animated icons due to this recent update," noted WABetaInfo, a website that monitors WhatsApp updates.
Insights on WhatsApp's new animated avatar feature
The animated avatars are categorised into several sections based on their appearance, including blissful, entertaining, angry, bright, etc. These animated avatars, similar to Snapchat's Bitmoji, add an extra layer of emotion that can be expressed in your WhatsApp chats due to their additional animations.
The avatar creation page in WhatsApp, using AI resources from Meta, creates personalised animated avatars from a single image. When a sender selects an animated avatar, it is sent as a sticker. The recipient can then add this animated icon as a sticker to their favourites section.
Utilising the new animated avatars on WhatsApp
To use this animated avatar feature, users must have an avatar set up on their WhatsApp accounts, which can be done by navigating to Settings > Avatar > Create your Avatar. Once the avatar is created, users on the latest beta version of WhatsApp will find an extra tab next to the emoji, sticker, and GIF section. From here, users can send animated avatars to others.
Note that the animated avatar feature is currently available only for beta users of WhatsApp running version 184.108.40.206 or higher. Currently, the feature appears to work only on Android phones. WhatsApp may soon roll out animated avatars in the stable version as well.
Only the sender needs to be on the beta version to create and send animated avatars. Recipients using older or stable versions of WhatsApp can still view and receive animated icons as animated stickers on both Android and iPhone.
Additional information on avatars on WhatsApp
Android users can join the WhatsApp beta programme via the Google Play Store. Alternatively, users can manually install the latest beta version of WhatsApp via APK to test out the avatars. In addition to avatars, WhatsApp has also been observed testing a feature that allows users to set group settings even before creating a group. This feature was spotted in a previous beta version.
Besides, WhatsApp is working on a spam protection feature to help identify and filter out spam calls. This will supplement the existing feature where users can mute unknown callers on WhatsApp.