Snapchat’s new “Bitmoji Deluxe” allows you to take a selfie and place it right next to your Avatar while you create or edit it. This lets you create your Bitmoji to look as much like you as possible. It starts with Snapchat asking if you’d like to take a selfie. Once you do, you will see an image of your actual self in the bottom corner the entire time you are editing your cartoon self. This isn’t a surprising new feature since Snapchat has teased that they may be using selfies to automatically create your Bitmoji in the near future. Facial recognition is becoming a mainstay in mobile technology so it’s only a matter of time before it works its way into social media.
What Parents Should Know
Snapchat is and will remain on my uninstall list. Bitmoji has never really been one of the reasons I don’t like Snapchat but I will admit I don’t “get it.” As parents, we have to keep an eye on our kids’ activity on Snapchat. One of the biggest concerns of educators, psychologists, and tech safety experts alike is the tendency for our young teens to filter their online identity. Even, sometimes, to the point of creating separate or even secret social media accounts for different followers or friends. Using a selfie to better create your Bitmoji avatar isn’t necessarily a sign of unhealthy behavior. I would, however, continue to pay attention to my teen’s conversations across all social media. Once facial recognition becomes a viable part of our social media cameras, that’s when I would consider not allowing my kids to use that service until they’ve reached an even higher level of maturity.