There’s a lot of stuff “hidden” in Android apps these day – like an encrypted messaging option for Twitter and also, apparently, nifty avatars for Facebook.
Per reporting from TechCrunch, hidden inside the code of Facebook’s Android app is an unreleased feature called Facebook Avatars. Facebook Avatars lets people build personalized, illustrated versions of themselves. These avatars are for use as stickers in Messenger and comments. The app will let users customize their avatar to depict their skin color, hairstyle and facial features.
Sound familiar? According to TechCrunch, Facebook Avatars is essentially Facebook’s version of Bitmoji, which now belongs to Snapchat and has spent years in the top-10 apps chart.
It’s no secret: Facebook is super sex negative and, in my view, not worth anyone’s time. But the fact remains that Facebook is currently pulls in 2.2 BILLION-with-a-B monthly active users. So, not to put too fine a point on it, but there’s people on there, you know, if you’re looking to find places to interact – and this includes enhancing your interacting with fancy new avatars.
Facebook told TechCrunch, “We’re looking into more ways to help people express themselves on Facebook,” but the feature is still early in development and Facebook isn’t sure when it will start publicly testing. Further, also according to TechCrunch, it’s currently unclear whether you’ll have to configure your avatar from a blank starter face or if Facebook will use machine vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to create one based on your photos. (WTF?!)
Using AI to create a decent base-lookalike of you might be compelling as it would streamline the creation process – you’d likely just need to make small corrections and refinements. If you’re like me however, the idea of AI is creepy, potentially messy and/or misrepresentative (What if your base avatar looks terrible?!) and likely dangerous. Facebook, after all, isn’t exactly known for being good about privacy.
Regardless of all this, Facebook Avatars appear to be coming soon, for you and for me and for all 2.2 billion of the rest of us – so you should know about it. In fact, it’s actually somewhat surprising that it’s taken this long to rip Bitmoji, you know, given how popular Instagram Stories and its other copies of Snapchat features are.
Facebook — blargh!
Shout Out/Aside: Reportedly, it was developer Jane Manchun Wong who found the avatars in the Facebook for Android application package, which is often an app’s storehouse for features that are unreleased or in testing. Wong also found Twitter’s aforementioned encrypted DMs capabilities and some fancy music stickers on Insta. Get it, Nancy Drew!
Erika Chan is a sex positive people watcher (and writer). Email her at email@example.com.
Sex-negativity sounds like:
Sex addiction isn’t real. Truly, it is not. I often have people come to my practice asking to be treated for their “sex addictions.” You can engage in compulsive behaviors, sure. And there are reasons for that, which are often rooted in issues separate from the actual behaviors. Compulsive sexual behaviors are no different. Also, this isn’t just a *conservative way of thinking. It’s a Sex Negative way of thinking, which isn’t always related to conservative values. Trust me. . #repost @empoweredsex . . #sexstuffwithkristin #sexnegative #sexaddictionisntreal #compulsivebehavior #compulsions #sex #sexuality #sexnegative #sexaddictions