We live in the future, people. Flying cars and robot butlers might not exist just yet, but Snapchat has brought us something better: tiny, 3D avatars to project onto the real word. (Well, the real world as seen by your phone screen). If your friends have been snapping up a storm lately, you may be wondering how to know if you have 3D Bitmoji on Snapchat, too. Sure, you could ask someone for help, but do you really want to out yourself as a second-rate Snapchatter? A Bitmoji bumpkin? Probably not. Luckily for you, I have answers.
On the off chance that you don't know what Bitmojis are, allow me to explain. Once upon a time, humans were forced to communicate with mere words and emoticons. While this got the job done, conversations lacked a certain pizzazz. Finally, in 2014, Bitmojis came to save the day. Billed as "your personal emoji," these little cartoon characters are meant to look like their users. You can customize pretty much everything about them, from hair color to face shape, and once you're satisfied with your likeness, you copy and paste stickers featuring the character via text or Snapchat.
Until now, Bitmoji were decidedly 2D — unmoving cartoons drawn in a bunch of different settings. But on Wednesday, Snap Inc. changed the game entirely when it announced the release of Bitmoji World Lenses. The new feature lets you project animated, 3D Bitmoji onto your surroundings, so you can watch your avatar drink coffee on the lip of your real-life coffee mug or skateboard across your actual desk.
I repeat: We are in the future. I, for one, am all about it.
So how can you get in on the addictive new feature? Step one is figuring out whether you have 3D Bitmoji in the first place. Here's how to make sure.
Bring Up Lenses
With your phone on rear-facing camera mode — that bit is important — tap and hold on the center of the screen. This should bring up the list of lenses.
Find The Bitmoji
The 3D Bitmoji should be the first lenses in the rotation. Keep your camera focused and swipe through them to see if your cartoon avatar pops up. If it does, get to snapping. If it doesn't, there are a few ways you can troubleshoot.
Update The Apps
First, as always, make sure you have the latest version of Snapchat and the Bitmoji app if you want to check out new features. (The same is true of any app.) To update the apps, head to the App or Play Store. Tap on Updates (or My Apps for Android) in the far right corner. You'll see a list of available updates; if that includes Snapchat, go ahead and follow the prompts to download the new version.
Currently, the newest version of Snapchat is 10.17.1.0. For Bitmoji, it's 10.16. Over time, though, that might change. To view the most recent update, just check out the information section of each app's page in the App Store.
Once you have the most recent version, try out the feature again.
Link Your Bitmoji Account
If it's still not working, pause for a second. Snapchat needs access to your Bitmoji account in order for the new feature to work — are they actually linked?
To find out, open Snapchat and navigate to your profile page. Is your Bitmoji head smack dab in the middle of your Snapcode? Great! Your accounts are linked. If not, select "create Bitmoji" and follow the prompts from there. If you need help, you can find a guide to linking the accounts on Snapchat's website. (All this assumes, of course, that you have the Bitmoji app downloaded in the first place.)
There you have it! That's all you need to do to find out if you have the new 3D Bitmoji. Once you have the tiny avatars up and running, it's up to you to make the best of the augmented reality we're now living in.