Ever wondered what are those quirky smileys people have been attaching to their posts, when you see your Facebook wall? Nowadays when you post on Facebook or via some other messaging app such as Line or WeChat, you get some emoticons that are more than just smileys – they are not just stock designs perceived to be funny, are rather animations that have the potential to tell a whole story instead.
Lets look at stickers in detail. To know what stickers, you need to differentiate between stickers and smileys. Smileys are those cute little emoticons that we have been using in our chats for ages. Smileys are generally stock cartoons providing a set way of expressing for e.g. :) depicts happiness while :( depicts sadness and ;) depicts mischief. When you want to express more in your posts and messages, they kind of fall short.
The idea of stickers, we can say is based upon smileys, but that is where the connection ends. Unlike smileys, stickers are not just stilly denotations of your mood rather they communicate much more than smileys can. They express much more.
Here’s one from Facebook Messenger –
or this one
But why on earth are stickers more than something as irrelevant as a smiley? Well, stickers can tell quite a story in themselves and express in a great manner. Over all, they are well, the new trend in social messaging. They can also be customized and put to different uses.
The movie Despicable Me 2 for example has come out with its own set of stickers for fans. Stickers are funnier, better for communication and you can actually do a lot of stuff with them. Lets say, you have written poem that you want all your friends to read. If you just post it as a note on Facebook and tag people, they might read it or might not. But if say post a sticker with witty post, it could catch more attention and presumably your poem could be better received.
Similarly, you can even make your chats more animated with the help of stickers. Stickers have evolved as a new way of communication and have breathed new life into our way of posting on social messaging platforms.
But Stickers are not the forte of Facebook. They are catching on fast and almost every chat app, is coming out with them.
Line is a very popular social messaging app that used to sell stickers in the iTunes store before Apple persuaded it not to sell them. They still sell them on Android have raked in a cool $17 Million from sticker sales in the first quarter of 2013 alone. In terms of customers, they recently crossed 200 Million globally and 5 million of them just in India.
It was amongst the first on the sticker scene and now almost everybody has jumped in. Whether it be apps like WeChat, Path or even WhatsApp, there are stickers out there for messaging. In fact, many apps sell them. It seems Facebook, the greedy glutton that it is, might even charge you for using them, since their current ‘free’ status is an inkling of a price tag being put on them in the future. heck, it has even opened up a ‘Sticker store’ which though currently offers free stickers has the potential of pricing them in the coming future.
Likewise, Hike is a social messaging app loaded with stickers. But the best part about hike is that it actually provides stickers according to the region – for example you will get one of Rajinikanth wielding a cigarette for India. (Mind it!)
You can also see ads on Facebook accompanies by their very own stickers , which Facebook will definitely make money from. Currently, though it seems a part of an endeavour to prevent you from succumbing to the charms of Google Hangout and others that have great stuff on offer.
There are also specialized apps selling stickers like this one – Stickers for Kik Messenger, Whats.App, Messages, WeChat & Email – Animation Emojis available in the iOS app store.
Stickers have especially taken off in Asia, where people love to communicate in as cute a manner as possible. They might also help social messaging apps fill the void that has been created by the SMS slowly etching close to extinction. They are also easy to fit in your communication and create a more wholesome conversation
Stickers are aimed at the loads of teens who chat incessantly via social messaging apps and is an attempt to lure them to these apps and stick with them. They are the target audience. Stickers might just make them stick to a social messenger and if they are too into it, they might just pay for them.
Stickers is a new chapter in social messaging. Let’s see how it plays out.