Meta updates its avatars with new body shapes, hair and clothing

Meta announced today that it's introducing new body shapes, improved hair and clothing textures to its avatars. The company also announced that more than one billion avatars have been created across its platforms.

Starting this month, users will be able to choose from a wider range of body shape options, including two curvier body shapes. Meta says it's updating some of its existing options to help differentiate them as well. Although Meta has previously allowed you to choose your avatar's body type, the company says the old options were all quite similar, which is why it's launching new ones.

In addition, Meta has overhauled how an avatar’s hair, clothing and eyes appear in stickers, profile pictures, cover photos and more.

"Sparing you the nitty-gritty technical breakdown, we’ve added additional detail and realism to both hair and clothing — meaning whether you’re rocking a clean fade and suit or bedhead and sweats, your avatar should pop a little better than before," the company wrote in a blog post. "Solid glow-up, right? We’ve also tweaked our lighting model to add a little more of a reflective gleam to your eyes, making them sparkle and bring your personality to life."

Meta has also partnered with PUMA to bring seven new outfits to the Meta Avatars Store, which launched last year and lets you buy digital clothes for their avatars.

The company first introduced avatars in 2020 as a way to compete with Snap’s Bitmoji and has been continuously updating them since. Most recently, Meta added more expressions, faces, skin tones and accessibility devices to avatars.

Today's announcement comes as Meta recently opened up Horizon Worlds to teen users in the U.S. and Canada, after previously restricting the social VR platform to users 18 years of age and above. The move came as lawmakers and children’s rights activists had urged Meta to abandon its plans to open up the platform to young users.

The new also comes a day after despite big losses in its metaverse investments, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it a point to tell investors that he is not making a u-turn into the AI lane. Rather, he sees AI as technology that works in tandem with the metaverse.