Screenshots of Kia's Bitmoji in Snapchat

Social media avatars are reaching new dimensions — three dimensions, to be exact.

Driving the news: 3D avatars of all sorts are appearing, from Apple and Snapchat’s animated cartoons to apps like Gabsee and the stealthy Morphin app, which lets users re-create famous GIFs with a computer-generated imagery (CGI) version of themselves.

  • And of course, virtual reality companies, including giants like Facebook, have long been refining their 3D avatars to let users socialize online.

Why it matters: Advanced technologies, like CGI, are making it possible for people to create more lifelike online identities.

  • At the same time, CGI tech is also shaking up popular culture by giving rise to fictional models like Shudu and Lil Miquela, who are even nabbing real fashion gigs while raising questions about ethics and cultural appropriation.

Go deeper: The twisted world of CGI social media influencers

Go deeper

Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim watson/Getty Images

President Trump, speaking from a podium at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday announced that he is prepared to issue executive orders suspending payroll taxes and extending enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of 2020, and halting student loan interest and payments indefinitely.

Why it matters: The impending orders come after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon. But Trump said he remains committed to striking a deal with Congress on a broader stimulus package before signing the orders.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.