How To: Not on Facebook? Here Are 4 'Avatar' Alternatives for Creating Your Digital Doppelganger

Not on Facebook? Here Are 4 'Avatar' Alternatives for Creating Your Digital Doppelganger

With Avatar, Facebook's personalized stickers for use on its social and messaging platforms, those who aren't on Facebook or have otherwise dumped the social network may feel left out.

Whatever your reasons for shunning Facebook may be, there are other ways, each with its distinctive style, to generate a cartoon likeness of yourself to add fun reactions to your posts and chats.

App 1: Bitmoji by Snapchat

With acquiring Bitstrips, makers of Bitmoji, in 2016, Snapchat helped popularize the entire concept of personalized emoji. Considering that it has been around much longer, Bitmoji offers a wider variety of customization options compared to Avatar, three different art styles (though Bitmoji Deluxe gets my vote), and a vast library of stickers for use inside and outside of Snapchat.

Using Bitmoji requires a standalone app, but it does not require a Snapchat account. However, Snapchat offers additional features with Bitmojis, including AR effects, 3D Friendmojis, and daily Bitmoji Stories for your amusement. You can also access Bitmojis quickly via integration with Gboard and Samsung Keyboard.

Get started with Bitmojis with this handy guide on creating your own Bitmoji. You can also generate a Bitmoji from a selfie! Then, you can dive further into Bitmojis by creating 3D Friendmojis.

App 2: Memoji by Apple

After launching Animojis with the iPhone X, Apple added Memojis with its introduction of ARKit 2.0, and the company has continued to add new customization options over time. Apple has also featured Animojis and Memojis prominently in its marketing efforts and even begat the short-lived Animoji Karaoke phenomenon.

While taste and preference is always subjective, Memojis are arguably the best-looking Avatar alternative from an art standpoint. The downside, though, is that you will only be able to use Memojis with an iPhone or iPad, whereas Bitmoji is OS agnostic. Memoji also has fewer sticker options compared to Bitmoji. However, on iPhones and iPads with a TrueDepth camera, you can record videos where Animojis and Memojis copy your facial expressions, and you can also use Animojis and Memojis in Facetime calls.

Follow the guide below to get started and create your own Memoji.

App 3: AR Emoji by Samsung

Samsung unabashedly copied Animojis with AR Emojis alongside its launch of the Galaxy S9 series, but preempted Memojis at the same time. AR Emoji analyzes your likeness to generate a virtual rendition and are accessible through the camera and keyboard.

Like Memojis, AR Emojis are exclusive to Samsung devices and can also mimic your facial expressions via the front-facing camera, with a similarly limited set of reaction stickers. However, AR Emoji lacks the charm of Memojis or even the trendy humor of Bitmojis. But, if you're in the Samsung camp, AR Emoji is your default option if you want to dance with the one that brought you.

If you have a Samsung device, check out this guide to create your own AR Emoji:

App 4: Gboard

In addition to supporting Bitmoji, Gboard (once known as Google Keyboard) has its own built-in tool for creating personalized stickers and emojis called minis. Gboard uses your front-facing camera to automate the creation process, which you can fine-tune. Three mini styles are available, namely Emoji by Google, Sweet by artists Helen Tseng and Shannon May, and Bold by artist Lamar Abrams.

By comparison, Gboard offers fewer stickers than Bitmoji but more than Memoji or AR Emoji, but it does have the AR or video bells and whistles of its competitors. However, if you've ever wanted to be an emoji, the Emoji mini style is closest to the pin.

So, if your device is not from Apple or Samsung and you're already using Gboard, try out creating your own stickers and emojis with this guide:

Each of these alternatives gives you the ability to insert your digital likeness wherever you please...except Facebook, as the app conveniently blocks each of these services from inserting images.

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Cover image, screenshots, and GIFs by Tommy Palladino/Gadget Hacks

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