Facebook added a new sticker feature to the web, originally designed only for their mobile messaging application.
The new application allows users to send private messages with stickers or animated icons, similarly to Apple’s “Emoji” application. Users can access the messages by clicking on the web chat smiley button. A basket will open, offering web sticker stores that offer 16 free packs of stickers.
The stickers, launched in mid-April, were originally only for mobile use. Now, Facebook is taking the stickers onto the web.
According to the Pentagon Post, the move is a push for Facebook to revitalize their messaging application in the growing popularity of iMessage. Apple’s Emoji application, for example, allows users to send text messages alongside small picture icons. The icons heighten the messaging experience.
Sophie Xie, designer, developer and creative director of the stickers, has left Facebook. Xie joined the company in 2012, but her recent resignation proves unsettling for the future of Facebook stickers. Stickers for web was one of her final contributions, which is why she appears in screenshots sent by Facebook’s PR team.
Facebook is also rumored to be teaming up with Universal Studios to create a branded sticker pack for the new Despicable Me 2 film.
Although Facebook will not monetize or charge for sticker use, Facebook will utilize the new addition with advertisers. Users may open Facebook to respond to a sticker message, for example, but end up browsing the news feed where they will see advertisements.
“It all might seem silly, but stickers could be a powerful differentiator for Facebook and others in the sea of messaging apps,” writes TechCrunch reporter, Josh Constine. “With SMS dying out, whoever claims the text-messaging throne could be heir to a ton of traffic.”
Click here for photos of the new stickers.