TikTok will allow users to create and customize animated avatars to star in their videos. The feature, officially called TikTok Avatars, is a lot like Snapchat’s Bitmoji or Apple’s Memoji characters.
Users can customize the look of their avatar by changing its appearance, clothing and other characteristics like piercings and hair texture. The app will have ready-made templates that can be tweaked, or you can start from scratch to create a completely unique avatar. Once the avatar is created, TikTokers can use the character in their videos, with the ability to add different voice effects or animated “reactions.” And, similar to Apple’s Memoji, users can record videos in which their avatar mirrors their own facial expressions and gestures.
TikTok Avatars was first spotted back in February, though the company hadn’t confirmed its existence until now. Though the company is hardly the first to experiment with animated representations of its users, the addition is likely to raise questions about whether TikTok is eyeing a potential metaverse tie-in. For now, the company hasn’t commented on any metaverse plans, but TikTok says it plans to “continue exploring ways to bring Avatars into more TikTok experiences.”