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DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS

Facebook Messenger Launches Snapchat Bitmoji Clone

New Facebook Avatars Launch For Messenger & News Feed Comments 

Having successfully cloned and scaled Snapchat’s best feature, Stories, Big Blue is now back for Snapchat’s next best feature… Bitmojis.

This week sees the first steps in the global rollout of the popular feature with Facebook Avatars launching in Australia.

Avatars are launching this week for use in Messenger and News Feed comments before coming to the rest of the world in late 2019 or early 2020.

Users will start to see a smiley-face button in the News Feed comments and around Messenger stickers they can tap to create their Facebook Avatar.

Unlike Snapchat’s Bitmojis, Avatars have been designed to be true to life.

No doubt bad news for ugly people worldwide.

Facebook Avatars communication manager Jimmy Raimo, tells Techcrunch:

“They’re a bit more realistic so they can be your personal avatar vs trying to make them cute, funny, and cartoony.”

Facebook Clones Bitmojis Just As Snapchat Looks To Scale

The timing of the Avatar launch is an interesting one, and no doubt an infuriating one for Snapchat.

At Snap’s recent 2019 partner summit Eve Speigel, Snap CEO, spoke at length of unboxing Snap’s best features and making them available to third parties.

Snapchat recently inked a deal with Tinder, itself soon to be under pressure with Facebook Dating, allowing Snapchat users to share Stories to Tinder.

Likewise, Snap has a deal with Fitbit to bring Bitmojis to Fitbit’s Smart Watches. There are also similar partnerships in the works with Netflix and a range of other big-name players.

A smart move from Snapchat, offering routes to market beyond its core user base. It also provides the opportunity to scale and ‘own’ its innovations by increasing their ubiquitousness.

The launch of Facebook Avatars will no doubt force Snap to step up its rollout efforts and partnerships before Facebook gets going. Especially with Apple now also eyeing the same prize.

Marketing Applications For Avatars

The Avatar creation process begins with a blank canvas users can customise from scratch across 18 variables.

Personalising a user’s Avatar’s face, hair, and clothes, they’ll also tie in a range of stickers conveying emotions and phrases.

For launch, there is not an option to translate a selfie or profile pic in an auto-generated Avatar, although this will probably come in time.

Likewise, for launch, there are no immediate plans for a direct marketing application. However, the brand applications are not difficult to imagine.

Facebook Avatars communication manager Jimmy Raimo, via Techcrunch:

‘It would help personalize it for sure and from a business perspective that would be smart.’

It is also not hard to imagine a future revenue stream, built around micro-payments as ‘cool’ cats spend $400 on Yeezys for their Avatars… *signs*.

Facebook is also considering expanding Avatars for use as profile pics or in Groups. Although presently it does not have plans, a la Snap, to launch as a platform for third parties.

From a Snap perspective, Big Blue is late to the market with this, and its current launch plans look sluggish. After all, the story first got leaked over 12 months ago.

Ergo, despite Facebook’s greater scale, all may not be lost. Yet.

Avartars are now live for users in Australia.

 

Learn with SMK W/C 4th July 2022

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Mon 4th July: Member Clinic from 1 pm – 2 pm AEST

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Tues 5th July: Member Clinic from 1 pm – 2 pm AEST

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