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Facebook avatars rolled out in May 2020 and allow Facebook users to create a cartoon-type resemblance of themselves. There are also instances where you might use your Facebook avatar on a Facebook page. I’ll discuss that here as well.
Timelines were blowing up with Facebook avatars as more and more people discovered the new feature and tried it in May 2020. Using my iPad, I couldn’t get it to work however. As it turned out, the function wasn’t available in the iPad Facebook app. I grabbed my iPhone and was able to proceed.
As of February 2021, you can also use Facebook avatars from desktop as Facebook post backgrounds.
Facebook avatars as post backgrounds
As you are getting ready to start a post, click on the four squares in the bottom to get all these different options:
Then write your post and you are done. Here’s an example:
Christmas and Hanukkah Facebook avatars
The section below on Thanksgiving avatars shares how you can find your seasonal avatars. In early December 2020 Facebook rolled out a variety of Christmas and Hanukkah avatars. Here is a sampling of mine.
Where are my Facebook Thanksgiving avatars
For Thanksgiving 2020 Facebook rolled out specific Thanksgiving avatars. To find yours follow the steps.
- On your smart phone in the Facebook app go to settings and then click on more and then avatars
- Then click that little icon in the top right
- Then scroll and see what Thanksgiving avatars are available to you.
- Click on the one you want use and click on more options to save it to your phone
Here’s a visual of that workflow.
I have heard from some readers letting me know that they can’t find the functionality as described below. Keep in mind that Facebook often rolls out new features in stages. So if you don’t have this feature yet you will likely get it in the coming days. Either way you can check by following the steps below to see if you can create your avatar yet.
This next section shares how to create your own Facebook avatar.
How to design your Facebook avatar in minutes
In the app:
- click on the three lines in the bottom right
- see more
From there it’s a guided process and you choose your:
- Body tone
- Facial shape
- Facial hair
- Eye shape
- Nose shape
- Mouth shape
I would highly recommend to turn on the camera so you can see yourself and compare the real you with the avatar version of yourself side by side. At first I didn’t think this was necessary. I know what I look like! Ha. But it really helped to find the closest eye shape, nose shape and other features.
Once you go through all the steps, which took just a few moments, Facebook creates your avatar.
Cartoons in your marketing
The timing of the rollout was interesting to me as I just published an episode of the Business Storytelling podcast where Cartoonist Dave MacDonald and I discussed the use of cartoons in your marketing. And at the end of the day Facebook avatars are cartoon-type characters of yourself.
Where on Facebook can Facebook avatars be used?
Of course, Facebook avatars are designed to be used on Facebook. Currently in several different areas:
Once I shared my Facebook avatar to my timeline setting it as a profile picture wasn’t even a default option within Facebook. I had to download the picture and then upload it as a profile picture.
Facebook avatars in comments
You can use a dozen or so versions of your Facebook avatar in comments when replying to others. Those options include:
- Thumbs up
- Sending hugs
- Love in the eyes
- Ha Ha Ha
- Couch Club 2020
- And more
In the iPhone app, I found these hard to read and a bit small at first, but the idea is kind of unique.
To use your Facebook avatar in Facebook comments simply click the smiley face in the “write a comment” area next to GIF and you see your options.
Facebook avatars on Facebook pages
If you have a personal brand Facebook page, like I have one for Christoph Trappe, you can also use the Facebook avatar as a profile or cover photo there.
It’s also possible to respond in comments using those avatars while responding as the page.
Of course, this doesn’t work for non-people brand pages, but you can make use of this new feature if it’s your person brand page.
I probably wouldn’t make the creation of Facebook avatars a top priority for brands, but if you are considering adding a cartoon-type element to an upcoming campaign this is an easy way to try and test it.
The new Facebook Avatars. Love them or hate them?
— Christoph Trappe (@CTrappe) May 17, 2020
How to upload your Facebook avatar as a 3D image
You can also upload your Facebook avatar as a 3D image. Here’s how that looks in your feed:
To be able to do this, go to Settings > See More > Avatars and download avatars you want to use in a post. Click on the image on the top. Once there here’s how the rest looks visually:
Click on More Options to save it as an image to your phone.
Then simply start a post in the iPhone app like any other post and add the image. It will prompt you to upload as a 3D image.
There are options to use your Facebook avatars and there likely will be more as Facebook gauges the interest.
This article was first published in May 2020 and updated a few days later to include the 3D information.