With its latest acquisition, Google is rethinking its strategy for competing with short-form video sensations such as TikTok. The search engine giant has acquired Alter, an AI Avatar firm that specializes in creating avatars using artificial intelligence.

According to insiders, Google paid $100 million to acquire Alter. The purchase was announced a few months ago, but Google only acknowledged it this week. Alter’s co-founder confirmed the news on LinkedIn. He updated his profile with the statement, “creating avatars at Google.”


Avatars are intended to be a huge part of the future, or so Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the Meta team want the world to believe. Meta is attempting to integrate avatars into all of its services, including WhatsApp, which might happen very soon.

Another component of the industry that has emerged and demonstrated its promise is AI-generated content. There are platforms that produce AI-based graphics, music, and even art. The technology has progressed to the point where you can simply spell out certain terms and the AI will process all of the data to provide you with the best results.

Because Google’s facial recognition technology is not as advanced as Apple’s Face ID, AI-based avatars are useful here as well.

Avatars might also be merged with YouTube Shorts, Google’s short video gamble against TikTok. We don’t know how Google intends to do so, but the rumored $100 million spent on Alter can only be considered a forward-thinking investment.

As for the startup that has been acquired by Google, it remains to be seen whether Google maintains all of the personnel or decides to streamline the team to fit its strategy. A Google spokeswoman acknowledged the acquisition of Alter but declined to elaborate on the financial parameters of the deal.

Alter began as Facemoji, a platform that provided plug-and-play technology to assist game and app developers in incorporating avatar systems into their applications. Play Ventures, Roosh Ventures, and Twitter, among others, have invested $3 million in the firm. Facemoji was later renamed, Alter.

According to sources, Jon Slimak and Robin Raszka, the founders of Alter, did not react to a request for comment. Meanwhile, Google just added custom emoticons to its Chat app to provide a more personalized experience. Emojis are a terrific way for people to express themselves via Google Chat, according to a blog post from the internet giant.

Only a few days ago, TikTok announced an adults-only option for live streamers who want to limit their viewership to people aged 18 and up as the first step toward maturity. The adults-only streaming option, as well as the new age restriction on who can stream, were both presented under the banner of “our ongoing efforts to keep our community safe.”

Also Read : TikTok introduces adult-only streams by raising age requirement for going live

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