The ‘Messenger-as-a-platform’ bid by Facebook is getting more add-ons today. The social networking giant has now announced, that it will now offer paid stickers in its Messenger app for Android and iOS.
If you’ve been an ardent Messenger user, you’d know stickers have been free — ever since their introduction. While those free ones continue to remain as-it-is, Singapore-based startup PicoCandy‘s third-party Messenger app offers unofficial paid stickers packs, ranging from $0.99 to $1.99.
However, even more baffling and perhaps a significant flaw in the new offering is that the users need to download the PicoCandy app also in addition to the Messenger app for browsing and buying the paid stickers and loading them in the Messenger.
The [Messenger] user experience is not the most ideal.
said PicoCandy CEO Geraldine Yong
Though she added, that Facebook was taking steps to make it more conducive for users and it would [eventually] be integrated within the [Messenger] app.
This is same as what Facebook recently did to the GIF feature — integrating it into the Messenger app itself after introducing the feature with third-party apps.
PicoCandy is a startup which offers stickers as a service to mobile messaging applications and matches brands with sticker designers and allows stickers to be deployed across multiple services. It currently offers stickers from McDonalds (free), and a mixture of free and paid-for content. Currently, PicoCandy has nine paid-for sticker pays available via its app.
Stickers have been more of a recent phenomenon and that too more in the Asian region where they were made popular by Japanese chat messenger Line. However, these little pieces of art have been ammasing growing popularity across the globe, prompting Facebook to come up with its own stickers feature in Messenger two years ago.
However, it remains to be seen if paid stickers could prove to be a viable option to increase user engagement on the Messenger platform.
Going by the numbers, two years back, Line had announced that it was making a jaw-dropping $10 million per month by selling stickers alone — from its then 230-million user base. That number has raised significantly in the last two years and although the company has not provided any updated data.
The paid stickers could prove to be another source of revenue for Facebook which boasts of 1.5 billion monthly active users and 300 million users in the Asian region. However, the company has stated that it has no current plans to charge users for Messenger stickers.
Note: We have updated this article to clarify that these are not official Messengers stickers and the company has not partnered with PicoCandy to sell sticker packs. PicoCandy is an app that’s integrated with Messenger Platform.