Bitmoji have now jumped off the screen from two-dimensional cartoon expressions of ourselves to full 3D augmented reality when on Thursday, Snap, Inc. began to roll out an incredible new feature for users of its ephemeral photo- and video-sharing platform, Snapchat — and now it's available to all Snapchat users as of Monday. Here's how to use Snapchat's 3D Bitmoji, because little 3D doodads are super cool. The future is here and I for one, welcome our new augmented-reality overlords.
In 2016, Snapchat acquired Bit Strips, the makers of Bitmoji avatars. Since then, the social platform has fully integrated Bitmoji into Snapchat, including as a replacement to its original GIF burst avatars as well as incorporating them into its creepy but kind of cool Snap Maps, introduced in June. In April, Snapchat debuted World Lenses, an augmented reality feature which brought your favorite emoji into glorious 3D life. Remember the Snapchat hotdog meme of early summer? Now, Snapchat has added the augmented reality experience to its Bitmoji, and I have to admit — it's pretty darn cool.
Using your new 3D Bitmoji on Snapchat is ridiculously simple, which means you can kiss your productivity goodbye today! Here's the skinny on getting it all set up.
How To Make Your 3D Bitmoji Appear
To get started, open Snapchat to your camera screen and make sure it's set to your rear-facing camera. (I know, selfies are awesome, but 3D Bitmoji are more awesome.) To get to your rear facing camera in Snapchat if you're in Selfie mode, either click the camera flip icon in the top right corner of your screen, or double tap the middle of your screen. Next, tap any part of your screen, and your World Lenses will appear. Swipe left to scroll through your World Lens selection and pick one: Voila! Say hello to your 3D Bitmoji.
Pinch, Move, & Embiggen
Using just two fingers, pinch and drag your 3D Bitmoji to move him or her around your screen. Want to make your Bitmoji tiny or giant? Pinch and zoom to play around with sizing.
What Is This Black Magic Sorcery?!
Ready to have your head explode? Press and hold the World Lens button to record — and walk around while you do it. As you move your phone, the Bitmoji remains fully 3D and remains stationary relative to your view. It's kind of ridiculous...ly amazing.
But Wait, There's More
You can actually rotate your 3D Bitmoji by criss crossing your fingers and pulling them apart. Your Bitmoji will spin in place. It's a little wonky, but it totally works.
What Can Your 3D Bitmoji Do?
Right now, there's a limited selection of World Lenses for your 3D Bitmoji. Your Bitmoji can chill out by the water cooler, do some yoga, play guitar, dance at the club, or watch a movie. If it's anything like Snapchat's Filters and other World Lenses, they're bound to change daily.
Oh, & There's Sound, Too
Snapchat's 3D Bitmoji are a truly immersive experience, and not just in the amazing capabilities of its augmented reality technology. Pretty much every 3D Bitmoji World Lens features sound. For the yoga filter, there's some zen-like meditation music that gets all slapstick as the animation progresses. And because Snapchat has figured out how to monetize, there are sponsored 3D Bitmoji World Lenses, too: Right now, Snapchat users can dance up their 3D Bitmoji to the tune of Avicii's "Without You." Expect lots more sponsored songs and filters to come.
It's pretty neat being able to see your Bitmoji finally come to life. And if you want to make it even more personalized and nifty, change your Bitmoji's outfit, hair, accessories, and more from within the Bitmoji app itself, and you'll see those changes populate in Snapchat. I hope you didn't have any plans to get anything done today, because these Snapchat 3D Bitmoji are pretty addictive.
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