Facemoji, an app that lets you create your own virtual avatar, has over 2 million downloads by tapping into what makes teens in 2019 different from other generations
- Facemoji is an app with over 2 million downloads that lets users create personalized digital avatars that you can overlay on photos and videos.
- The team behind Facemoji says its incredibly customizable avatars allow for more creative "digital expression" that allows users to "be whoever you want to be."
- The app especially caters its features to Gen Z, who considers identity more fluid than ever before.
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Expressing diverse and nontraditional identity has never been more important than it is today, and it's something that a new digital avatar creator called Facemoji is trying to make easier to portray online.
The idea behind Facemoji isn't an entirely new concept: Personalized avatar creation is the staple for Snapchat's Bitmoji and Apple's Memoji. But Facemoji's creators think their platform can stand out by focusing on making users feel as if their Facemoji avatars are true "embodiments" of who they really are - their true, authentic selves."We want to make sure everyone feels represented," Facemoji community manager Faye Maidment told Business Insider. "Your self-image can be whoever. We don't want to put a construct on people's self-image."
The bet on self-expression has paid off so far for Facemoji cofounders Tom Krcha and Robin Raszka. The two met through Betaworks' Visioncamp accelerator, and joined forces to create what they saw as the future: avatars.
Since quietly launching in the App Store last fall, Facemoji has accrued more than 2 million downloads. The app already has financial backing from venture capitalists including General Catalyst, Betaworks, and Product Hunt's Ryan Hoover.
The app itself makes it incredibly simple to create completely customizable avatars. You can choose the shape of your faces and eyes, and select ear and face piercings, detailed hairstyles, and accessories ranging from braces to AirPods.
But while this type of minute personalization may be possible on rival apps like Bitmoji, Facemoji avatars are more interactive. They employ "expression tracking" like Animoji, which means your avatar will move and react as you do. Facemoji avatars can also be added onto real-life background for images and videos, bringing your personalized avatar a step closer to reality.
The way Facemoji is designed makes it simple to share avatars on social media, a shout-out to Facemoji's main userbase: Generation Z, the age group loosely comprising people born in 1997 or later.Krcha, who is also Facemoji's CEO, says the app is completely "fine-tuned" for Gen Z: Recently, Facemoji removed the choice of gender for your avatar, making character creation "even more fluid," Maidment said. Facemoji also regularly adds pop-culture references in response to demands from its young users: most recently, it added signature hairstyles from Ariana Grande and K-pop's BTS.
It's no surprise then that the most internet-heavy generation is turning online for greater self-expression.
"Everyone has an image of what they think they look like," Krcha told Business Insider. "Who do you really think you are?"