Bitmoji, Snapchat's best feature, just got its first major update in years

Snap Inc.Some examples of the new Bitmoji Deluxe, which have more options for skin tone and hair colour.
  • Snap on Tuesday added a new feature to Bitmoji called “Bitmoji Deluxe.”
  • Bitmoji are customisable avatars that you can add to your Snaps or use outside of the app – you can add them to messages or use them on desktop.
  • The new Bitmoji will be more customisable, with new skin tone, hair colour, and facial feature options. You’ll also be able to take a selfie to help customise your Bitmoji.

Bitmoji is the best part about Snapchat.

It’s a controversial stance, I know – Snapchat is great for a lot of other purposes, like documenting your life, sending ephemeral messages, putting a puppy face on top of your own face, and even, for some people, getting news and information.

But Bitmoji – which Snap acquired in 2016 for $US64 million – still lives independently of Snapchat, and that’s what makes it great. You can add Bitmojis to your keyboard and send them in iMessage, or post your Bitmoji to Twitter. You can get the Bitmoji Chrome extension and, if you’re feeling sassy, include your Bitmoji in an email.

You can even add Bitmojis to the real world. Within the Snapchat app, you can have your Bitmoji do yoga, make dinner, or even walk the red carpet – all while appearing in your real-life environment.

Plus, it looks like you. My Bitmoji is my cartoon twin, down to her penchant for pancakes:

BitmojiAvery Hartmans/Business Insider

I’m not the only one who loves Bitmoji – the app remains wildly popular in its own right. Since 2015, Bitmoji has seen a 5,210% increase in unique visitors over 18, according to measurement and analytics firm comScore.

Bitmoji is also consistently among the top 10 free apps in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Snap hasn’t made many changes to Bitmoji since it acquired the company, though. Snap adds new outfits for your Bitmoji to wear, and lets you Bitmoji do things like appear on its maps feature, but Bitmoji’s customisation engine is limited. For a lot of people, the options don’t line up with what they actually look like, and this can make using Bitmoji a lot less fun.

That’s why Snap’s new Bitmoji update is actually exciting. Called Bitmoji Deluxe, the update includes “hundreds of new ways to customise your Bitmoji,” Snap says.

This means you’ll now be able to choose from more skin tones, hair colours and styles, accessories, and facial features. Snap says you’ll also be able to take a selfie to “inspire your Bitmoji creation,” but it’s not clear if that means the Bitmoji app will be able to automatically generate a Bitmoji for you.

To check out the new Bitmoji Deluxe, open the Bitmoji app and go to settings, then “change avatar style.” The update may not be available on everyone’s Bitmoji app just yet, but it will be coming soon.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.