The following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance).
Millennials are certainly making a noticeable mark on today’s society, which could not be more evident than with the rise of virtual stickers. From messaging and photo editing to social media and emails, chances are you have noticed a vast surge in the use of cartoon characters, smiley faces, animals, symbols and more. Although these elaborate, character-driven emoticons originated in Japan in the more basic form we know as emojis, stickers in the United States have been exponentially growing in popularity across the mobile media spectrum.
In messaging, stickers have surpassed the library of ordinary smiley faces and are now essentially a language all of their own. Anyone who owns a smart phone is familiar with standard text messaging stickers, but apps have taken them one step further, allowing users to download thousands of charming characters to appease everyone’s creative aspirations. For example, if you do a quick search for “stickers” in the Apple or Google Play Stores, you will discover hundreds of different apps that provide you with anything including cute, funny, love, TextPop and even Selfie stickers.
Speaking of selfies, you can’t talk about stickers without addressing the numerous photo-editing apps that have embraced the sticker craze. Whether you are simply looking to spruce up a photo or turn in into an original work of art, there are stickers for just about anything you could imagine. Here are some great apps to consider trying:
- PicCollage– This includes more than 1,500 stickers, 80 backgrounds and 60 templates. The platform is available online or you can download the mobile app on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Amazon.
- PicZone– This photo-editing app includes realistic stickers if you’d like to see how you would look wearing glasses, but it’s only available on iPhone.
- Insta Emoji Photo Editor– If you want to turn yourself into your very own emoji, you can use Insta Emoji to create some pretty funny stickers. This app is available on iPhone or there is Insta Emoji Pic Story available on Android.
And, if you wish to amp up your photos even more, you can also jump of the GIF bandwagon and turn your photos into eccentric animations using sites and apps such as, GifMaker, 5SecondsApp5 and Gif Me! Camera among many others.
Stickers are also undeniably making waves in the social media realm. In fact, in an article published in Social Media Today stated that as of March 15, research by Instagram revealed more than half of all text on the platform contained emoji. What’s more, you may have noticed that Facebook recently added photo editing that provides a variety of sticker options to enhance your photos. Twitter also just tested new camera tools, including GIFs, stickers and doodling during the last VMA’s that may soon make Gif making much easier according to Business Insider. For all of you SnapChatters out there, you are likely already well-versed in art of adorning your photos with an array of smiley faces and cute pandas.
Finally, even the business networking site, LinkedIn has jumped on board in an effort to better reach Millennials. In a recent blog post, the company announced it was rolling out a new messaging service that “offers an easier and more lightweight way to have professional conversations with your connections.” And of course, users will now be able to add stickers, emojis and GIFs in the messenger to help give your professional conversations a little more personality.
Whether the sticker movement is simply a fad or if they are going to stick around is yet to be determined, but one thing I think we can all agree on is the variety of these vivacious little characters certainly brings a little bit fun and color into our daily lives.