Meta is introducing new body shapes and improved textures for hair and clothing for its avatars, the company announced on Thursday. The updates seem like good steps forward in helping people better represent themselves, but while you’re roaming around Meta’s Horizon Worlds VR social platform, you still won’t see other people’s legs.
For the new body types, Meta says that you’ll be able to select from “a wider range of body shape options, including two curvier body shapes” beginning this month, according to a blog post. The company is also “refining” some existing body types to make them more differentiated from the rest.
For hair and clothing, the company is adding “additional detail and realism,” and you might see more sparkle in people’s eyes. But you won’t see those improvements while looking at avatars in VR; instead, they’ll show up “in stickers, profile pictures, cover photos and more.”
Meta users have made more than 1 billion avatars, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed as part of Wednesday’s earnings call, so these changes could give a lot of people more ways to express themselves on digital platforms. And 3D avatars are quickly becoming something of a battleground for so-called metaverse platforms — Roblox has been working on more realistic avatars and letting creators sell limited-run gear, while Epic Games is constantly churning out original and crossover outfits for Fortnite. However, while Meta avatars in Horizon Worlds are still missing legs, that’s supposed to change this year.