Muggmaker is a new Facebook application that allows you to create animated avatars. The avatars can then be used as your profile photo on Facebook, or other social media sites. Unlike the trend for animating an existing photo of yourself, Muggmaker doesn’t convert existing photos but enables you to create an avatar entirely from scratch.
To get started, you’ll need Flash installed on your computer. From there, you can create a fully custom avatar, starting with a blank face. Add facial features such as eyes, nose, mouth, ears. Top things off with a funky hair style. Everything is customizable, from the shape of the eyes to the curl of the lips. From there, you can instill even more of your personality by changing the color of your avatar, adding various animations and backgrounds.
The Muggmaker application itself takes advantage of Facebook’s social networking to a good degree. You can see the Muggs your friends have created, and you can also see the recent Muggs that other Facebook users have created as well. You can also make Muggs of your friends and send them along directly through the Muggmaker application. This is the viral aspect of Muggmaker, as it enables users to essentially make custom gifts for friends while encouraging them to join in on the fun.
As far as sociability goes, however, this is pretty much the end of the line for Muggmaker. There are no integration with networks or social media tools outside of Facebook, which limits the use of your avatar once you’ve created one. And most tools that are similar to Muggmaker are associated with voice features or chat features, which further expand on the use cases for such a highly customized avatar.
However, Muggmaker is simple to use and fun enough to be of interest to users that are likely to appreciate this type of application. It’s is picking up on an aspect of a trend that extends personalization for Facebook in a direct sense, and is highly shareable with friends. Given the trend for event-specific user photos on networks such as Facebook, such as the election of President Obama or the death of Michael Jackson, Muggmakers may also have an opportunity to create exclusive, limited or event-specific backgrounds/features for users’ Muggs for gaining new users or monetizing its application.