Today story-based multimedia chat platform Snapchat announced the launch of an enhanced version of its integrated Bitmoji app. Called Bitmoji Deluxe, the cartoon avatar creator now features hundreds of new ways to customize your Bitmoji's look, including more skin tones, hair colors, and hair treatments than ever before.
For those of you who aren't familiar, Bitmoji are essentially your own personalized emoji — a little cartoon likeness of yourself that you can send to your friends via iMessage or Snapchat. You can use them as stickers or reaction images, and can even project them into the real world using Snapchat's AR capabilities so they can do cool things like dance and skateboard. It's an interesting way to inject personality into social media exchanges, and has really taken off since Snapchat's $64 million acquisition of Bitstrips — the company behind Bitmoji — in 2016.
Now, after receiving feedback and requests from users for more inclusive skin color, hair color, and facial feature options, Snapchat has delivered big time. Using the redesigned front-end avatar builder, Bitmoji lovers can select from 40 skin tones, 50 hair colors, 50 hair treatment options, and a variety of other newly added characteristics to ensure that their cartoon clone resembles them down to the last detail.
To use Bitmoji Deluxe, all you need to do is go to Settings in the Bitmoji app and then tap "Change Avatar Style" to get started. You can also access the feature through Snapchat by selecting "Edit Bitmoji." If the update has rolled out to you, you'll see a prompt notifying you about the new options. After that, you can go wild. You want a pink ombre fishtail braid? You can have it. Just want to select a more specific hair color or skin tone to up the accuracy of your animated proxy? You can do that too. What's more, jazzy finishing touches like make-up and jewelry can now be applied to any avatar regardless of selected gender.
If you're feeling a little overwhelmed or lost in the new sea of appearance options and don't know where to begin, you can also snap a quick selfie within the app so you have a solid reference point to work from. However, Bitmoji has yet to add any sort of facial recognition capabilities that will automatically build a face for you, so you still have to choose all the individual features yourself.
Perhaps the coolest part of all this is that Bitmoji Deluxe was built with a back-end that will allow for even more customization options to be added more easily in the future. Snapchat notes in its announcement that this is just the beginning, and that the company promises to continue updating Bitmoji Deluxe "in an effort to help make each Bitmoji feel even more unique."
Do you use Bitmoji? Are you excited about all the new looks you can create for your avatar? Share your feelings in the comments!
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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.