Video calls on Facebook just got more... cartoony. Meta has introduced a new type of video calls, dubbed "real-time avatar calls". Using the avatar you create in the Metaverse, you can answer and make calls by using said avatar, complete with animations and facial expressions.
Meta is "selling" the video call feature on Messenger and Instagram as as a sort of third option. It is not a video call and not an audio call, but one thing you can use if you are not camera-ready. To make things smoother, Meta is also testing a new option that allows you to take a live selfie and the avatar will be created for you.
The company is also going for an overall redesign of their VR avatars, "to make them look a little more proportionate". Judging from the recent reveal of new character models, Meta is clearly aiming for more of an Animoji look.
Also, if you are worried about legs (which were indeed a big talking point when the Metaverse debuted), the Meta avatar will indeed have them. But, they still won't show up on the call, so that will not really change much in your overall on-camera look.
And naturally, Meta is going all-in on brand support to dress your Meta avatar as stylish as possible. They're even partnering with Capcom to bring styles connected to Street Fighter 6 to the store. What that means exactly we are not sure yet, perhaps you'll be able to wear Chun-Li's iconic bonnet or Blanka's green skin and flaming hair?
Still, the best thing about it - we are sure you'll agree - is the fact that you are not forced to make the avatar as realistic or close to your actual look as possible. If you want to answer a video call as a talking animal, you are definitely allowed to do so. But, if you ask us, we'll still prefer to actually use a Mii...