For a long time now, IMVU has taken their community of avatars and turned it into something big — random chat, messaging with contacts, group chat, and social media all rolled together. And, thanks to their endlessly customizable avatars, the whole thing has a lot more personality than your average messaging app. That’s what’s helping them roll out two awesome new features this month — a brand new sticker store and WithMoji. If you want to have an emoji dance party with your bestie, there’s only one place to go.
IMVU’s sticker store is stocked with free and paid stickers and emoji, many of which are animated. And, IMVU’s gotten some pretty great experience in this field. Earlier this year, they pretty much owned the iTunes App Store for a while with Kimoji and the subsequent Kimoji 2.0 launch, an emoji and sticker app dedicated completely to Kim Kardashian and family. They’ve got this thing on lockdown.
But, the really great new feature is WithMoji, which launched earlier this week. When I spoke with Morgan Tucker, VP of Product at IMVU, he talked a little about Bitmoji, the more cartoonish counterpart to IMVU. Bitmoji introduced Bitstrips, which allowed two or more people to put their avatars together in comic strip-like images in chat. Well, IMVU is one-upping that idea with animation. Using WithMoji, IMVU users can now make their animated avatar emoji interact with each other in chat. It’s pretty easy, too — one user sends an animated emoji, and the other is greeted with a handful or emoji reaction options. They can respond with a kiss, hug, or dance to have their avatar interact with the other. Not only that, but the animation can be saved as a gif for posterity. I think that’s IMVU’s way of telling every other messaging app to step up their now woefully lacking emoji game.
Eventually, IMVU plans to make group WithMoji possible. For now, they’ve got 100 WithMoji reactions, some free and some paid (the paid ones will come in packs of 30). For solo emoji, IMVU has a proper emoji keyboard, which is where you’ll find all of IMVU’s takes on Unicode’s standard set. As for the sticker store, IMVU will eventually open that up to all users, who can create and upload their own designs.
IMVU might not have the largest following of all the chat apps out there, but they do seem to be having the most fun. We’ll emoji cheers to that.