In its latest round of acquisitions, Google has snatched up an interesting company. Formerly known as ‘Facemoji’, Alter is an AI-driven avatar provider. About two months ago, the tech giant apparently finished the purchase as several of Alter’s top executives updated their LinkedIn profiles to reflect their new job positions at Google, according to TechCrunch.
The entire deal cost about $100 million, and TechCrunch confirmed with a Google spokesperson that the acquisition has, in fact, taken place, despite the supposed secrecy surrounding the entire ordeal.
Alter essentially let game devs inject avatar systems into their projects using its tech, but has since closed off its GitHub now that it will be part of the Google team. According to a source familiar with the details, Google is looking to bolster its offerings in some way.
While there’s absolutely no information on what exactly that means at this time, I have a feeling that a personalized avatar representing every user’s Google Account could be a fun way to further humanize Google services after all of the controversies the company has built up over the past few years.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that there is some other, more specific use case for avatars, like YouTube vTuber tools or something, but with a purchase that large, I don’t see Google just buying an avatar company unless it has big plans and wants to make its brand more friendly and casual. Maybe it wants to dip its toes into the metaverse now that Facebook is failing miserably at it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!