As covered in our previous white paper on messaging apps, Japan’s messaging app LINE is best known for its vast catalogue of stickers, which are basically advanced emoji with ample branding opportunities. And given that LINE is making roughly $18 million a quarter on selling in-app sticker packs, it makes sense that a new “autocorrect-esque” feature of real-time sticker suggestion has been added in the app’s latest Android update. The feature currently limits its suggestion to the stickers that users already own, but it’s not difficult to imagine LINE using this interface to upsell more stickers in the near future.
Messaging remains in the news this week, and the buzzword continues to be “stickers.” Today, Viber, Kik, GroupMe, and Cubie all confirmed that they are working with TextPride, a company devoted to creating branded content and stickers for messaging apps. TextPride is bringing officially licensed content from over 200 sports and entertainment brands to the over 500 million users of messaging apps. Users can access the stickers in paid packs accessible in individual stores on each app. Packs generally run at $1.99, and grant access to about 30 emoji. While traditional ad tactics like mobile banner ads often disrupt the fundamental service of the messenger, branded stickers offer a natural, almost native opportunity to monetize the space, and increase broad consumer engagement amongst a younger demographic. This partnership is good news for brands and agencies looking to expand into the messaging space.
For messaging apps, stickers have been a boon for a while. Line, one of the more popular Japanese messaging apps, is now letting its users sell their original stickers in Line’s web store. Called the Line Creators Market, the store is free for all users to register to. Creators can sell sets of 40 stickers at ~$1, once the graphics are approved by Line, and will receive half of the proceeds. Not only is the store a play to get at additional, popular in-app revenue streams, it’s also a move to increase user engagement and global expansion – sticker purchases accounted for 20% of the app’s revenue thus far, and sticker creation, which are popular globally, could be a way for Line to push its expansion beyond Japan’s borders.