Beulahland Communications' Website Compass

WebsiteCompass 13 Back to Basics Your social media posts aren’t limited to photos, videos, and text. If you’re looking to add more whimsy to your content, think about creating an avatar…or two…or a dozen! The process will bring out your inner artist and make you feel like a kid again. Have Fun Creating Your Avatars What’s not to love about cartoon versions of yourself? What’s an Avatar? An avatar is a drawn representation of a real-life person. It can be designed based on any number of themes, including specific shapes, aesthetics, or TV shows. For example, you can make a version of yourself that looks like a character from shows like The Powerpuff Girls , Family Guy , or South Park . There are applica- tions to help you do all of this and more. Most avatar creation applications allow you to customize your avatar in great detail—down to eyebrow shape. You can usually choose from dozens of out- fits, which can be changed based on the season or occasion. After you create your avatar, you can download it as a PNG or JPG file, which are common formats use- able on most social media platforms. A History of Personalization Avatars started being used in early com- puter forums to personalize the actions of users, making their posts easily identifi- able. In these cases, avatars weren’t part of the forums, but were created sepa- rately and uploaded. Later, some forums and other platforms, such as America Online, integrated an avatar feature with their chat functions. Avatars also became an integral feature of many video games. Bitmoji was one of the first avatar cre- ation tools, originally developed by the Canadian company Bitstrips, which was founded in 2007. The company’s initial purpose was to create digital comic strips that featured customized avatars. When emojis started appearing, Bitstrips saw a way to take them to a new level, and Bit- moji was born in 2014. Two years later, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., bought Bitstrips and started running only the Bitmoji component. However, you can use Bitmoji on platforms other than Snapchat. Picture the Possibilities When you have an avatar you’re happy with, you can deploy it across your online world. For example, rather than posting a photo of yourself, you can post an image of your avatar in a situation that reflects your real life in some way, such as having a harried day at work. Or you can create a situation you personally wouldn’t be in, such as skydiving. Avatars can also be used like emojis to express emotion. Depending on which creation program you use, there might be dozens of variations and messages