In June of last year, we reported that Facebook owner Meta was working on allowing people to present themselves as their animated avatars in video calls on WhatsApp. Well, the development of that feature seems to be complete, as the company is now making it available for testing to a few beta testers.
On Friday, WABetaInfo discovered the new ability to make video calls using avatars in the latest beta version of WhatsApp for Android (v220.127.116.11). The app notifies the users about the new feature with a banner that says, “Using your avatar on calls.” According to it, “When you switch to your avatar, it will mimic your facial movements and expressions in real-time.” You can also turn off the feature during the video call to show your true self. Fortunately, your calls will continue to be end-to-end encrypted even if you use avatars.
If you want to use this feature, you need to tap on the ‘Switch to Avatar’ button on the banner. If not, tap on the ‘Not now’ button. Unfortunately, the publication didn’t demonstrate how does the feature looks in real life. That being said, avatar video calls on WhatsApp should look similar to those on Facebook and Instagram. So, if you’ve used avatars in video calls on Meta’s social media platforms, expect the same experience on WhatsApp too.
Currently, there’s no information about when Meta will roll out avatar video calls in the stable version of WhatsApp. However, considering that it is now available for testing, we expect the feature to arrive in the app in the next few weeks. In the last few days, Meta introduced Channels and a high-quality image-sharing option to WhatsApp. The company is also planning to bring a massive redesign to WhatsApp for Android in the near future.