Customizable cartoons may soon appear in your Snapchat inbox

Snapchat is reportedly acquiring Bitstrips, makers of the cartoon emoji you can personalize and send to friends. 

Bitstrips’s custom cartoons plagued our Facebook feeds back in 2013, as people created cartoon strips in their image. Eventually, Bitstrips built a customizable emoji keyboard called Bitmoji, used to send friends your likeness in private messages, and the annoying public memes on Facebook were relegated to texts. 

Many of us forgot the Bitstrips saga that overwhelmed Facebook for a few weeks, but the company and its customizable Bitmoji are still, apparently, popular enough for Snapchat to scoop up the company in a deal worth $100 million, Fortune reports

The appeal of Bitmoji is obvious—creating a cartoon avatar in your likeness is mildly entertaining, especially considering how much we communicate with emoji. Bitmoji lets you modify skin color, eye color, hair color, and many other features, and the result is an eerily recognizable and shareable cartoon. 

Snapchat’s plans with Bitstrips aren’t immediately clear. The Bitmoji and Bitstrip apps are both free on app stores with theme packs available as in-app purchases, so Snapchat may be acquiring a built-in revenue stream that would amplify their struggling efforts to monetize. But while Snapchat appeals to a younger audience of teens and millennials, Bitstrip comics appear to be more popular with older demographics, at least, that’s what I’ve gleaned from texts with my middle-aged friends. 

H/T Fortune | Illustration via Fernando Alfonso III

Selena Larson

Selena Larson

Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.