If the company formerly known as Facebook is going to help establish the metaverse, it's going to need virtual personas that are consistent across its apps — and it now has just that. As of today, Meta is rolling out updated 3D avatars to Facebook, Messenger and Instagram (via DMs and Stories). The new design lets you bring the same avatar across Meta's platforms, including VR — you can maintain your look as you switch to your Quest 2 and back.
The avatars themselves promise to be truer to your style with more faces, skin tones and expressions. You can also add Cochlear implants, over-the-air hearing aids and wheelchairs. Meta is also being more adventurous with clothing. You can now pick up official NFL apparel (shown above) to flaunt your love of football ahead of the Super Bowl.
You can still create different avatars for Facebook, Instagram and VR, so you can have a more realistic persona for VR meetings and a more fantastical one for your social media profiles. Meta has also promised to "eventually" simplify moving avatars across places, and already lets you sync avatar changes between Facebook and Instagram.
Meta acknowledged the unified avatars were an "early step" in creating the metaverse. This doesn't suddenly create a truly cohesive and immersive digital space. It's a start, though. If nothing else, it provides consistency that might encourage you to try an avatar instead of sticking to a favorite photo.