I can’t imagine there are many people out there clamoring for the ability to create a custom profile image on their favorite video streaming service, but HBO Max wants you to know that it’s giving customers just that option starting today. Subscribers can now choose from a range of preselected avatars — featuring over 120 characters from HBO Max’s library of content — or upload their own photo. The presets come from shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and many others.
Uploading a custom photo isn’t something you can do on Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, or most of the other video streaming apps. (Netflix used to let you link to a social media account and show an image from there, but this is no longer available.) And it could help HBO Max feel just that extra bit personalized to you and other people in your home. If you’ve got kids, maybe they’ll get a kick out of seeing themselves on the profile select screen.
“This new feature, which launches today and rolls out across all supported partners by March 26th, allows users to express their identity through a creative lens and further connect with the stories and characters they love on the platform,” WarnerMedia said in a press release.
You’ll be able to pick an avatar on any device where you’re watching HBO Max, but to take or upload a custom photo, you’ll need the mobile or tablet app. That image will then appear across HBO Max on all of your devices. A WarnerMedia spokesperson told me that “uploaded photos are encrypted and hard deleted once a user removes or changes their profile photo.” And if you’ve got parental controls enabled, a PIN is required before the profile image on a kid’s account can be changed.
I guess HBO Max gets the win on this one versus its streaming rivals — even if WarnerMedia took its sweet time on other, more important things like adding 4K support.