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Meta Announces Avatar Update: Getting Their Leg Up?

Meta—previously Facebook—has been hard at work on their virtual platform Horizon Worlds. So far, the project hasn’t taken off, and much of the internet has continuously mocked the avatars and their appearance. Most notably, they look like Wii avatars straight out of 2006, only without legs—until now..?

Horizon Worlds

After Facebook rebranded to Meta and announced they were now a ‘metaverse-first’ company, they’ve long since had the intense spotlight of public perception thrust on them like a judging ray of sun. While they should be given credit for being the first to get the metaverse market moving, they’ve attracted considerable negative attention which has made many skeptical about the mysterious metaverse.

In December 2021, Meta unleashed Horizon Worlds, their virtual world platform featuring a game-integration system. Not too dissimilar from Roblox, except somehow Horizon Worlds’ avatars are less impressive. But a new and exciting feature is coming that could change the landscape for Meta. You guessed it: They’re finally getting legs. This long-awaited addition is a huge step up for the tech giant, and a much-requested feature from the 300,000 fans of the platform (as of February 2022). As Meta CEO Zuckerberg emphatically put it, legs are “probably the most requested feature on our roadmap”.

All sarcasm aside, it was recently revealed that not even Meta’s employees are using the platform, so it was hoped that this avatar update would be a step in the right direction, moving the avatars away from their awkward, legless hovering to something more immersive and expressive. The legs were revealed in a live announcement and demonstration from Meta, as they showed off jump-kicks and more. The feature will first be coming to their VR platform before being used in other areas of Horizon Worlds.

Meta have announced they also plan to add more expressive features to the avatar system, including options to represent yourself in a more photorealistic way and create better expressions for immersive social interaction in the VR platform.

Pulling Our Leg

Unfortunately, the announcement video wasn’t all that it seemed. Meta released a further statement to clarify that the video was a mere preview, utilizing motion-capture animations to demonstrate how the legs might look in the future, instead of showing off the actual feature—or a prototype—as promised. So it looks like the Horizon Worlds community will have to wait a little longer to get a glimpse of their much-desired legs.