With the rising use of TikTok, users have been accustomed to adopting AR special effects to modify their faces and post videos. Previous VR research found that when people create a character to represent themselves, they create an avatar inside that virtual environment. Additionally, earlier research mainly focused on the relationship between avatars and people’s self-reflection in games, rarely did they address avatar use in a social media context. Thus, this research discussed how different AR avatar’s visual appearance influence users’ self-disclose in social media.

AR Special Effects

To better conceptualize and operationalize AR special effects, we adopted the concept of visual anonymity.


For the study, a 2(occluding degree of TikTok effects) ×2(exaggerating degree of TikTok effects) online experiment was conducted. All participants were told that the survey concerned participants’ general knowledge and took a maximum of 10 minutes, and they were assured confidentiality.

                                                                           (experiment material)



What we find

  • Our results supported the proteus effect, which showed that more attractive avatars tend to lead to deeper self-disclosure.
  • Ugly AR effects also lead people to directly experience immersion. This may be because ugly AR effects distort facial features and hide personal traits, allowing people to focus on the image and be immersed, thus leading to deeper self-disclosure.
  • Although perceived privacy concerns can’t directly predict self-disclosure, it can indirectly affect self-disclosure by immersion’s mediating effect.
  • Immersion is closely related to self-perception.



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