Stickers Bring Fun, Revenue and Endless Possibilities to Mobile Messaging


Stickers aren’t just for kids anymore.

They are the new, new thing in mobile messaging – bigger, better versions of emoticons and emoji, those smiley, winking and frowning faces we’ve been using in email for years. Some of them are even animated, by which I mean they move.

Stickers cater to consumers on the leading edge, who have moved beyond even using words in their mobile chat sessions, and are instead communicating with pictures.

Does that make you feel both old and like you have a lot of catching up to do? Don’t worry: this homework is a lot of fun.

Want to suggest a restaurant for date night?
BBM Sticker 1

Refer to a tyrannical former boss?
BBM Stickers 2

Call in sick?
BBM Sticker 3

Stickers are absolutely part of our strategy to monetise BBM.

Now that BBM lives independently of the BlackBerry operating system and devices, it has its own business model – to become a platform for engaging with the mobile economic ecosystem.

How do stickers fit into that grand scheme? For an in-depth look, check out the detailed post over at the Business Blog, but here’s the main point:

Consumers love stickers. According to recent research, 40% of smartphone owners use stickers regularly, and 20% of sticker users have purchased them.

The trend started in Asia, where typing out messages in characters (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) can be slow.

Stickers have become a fast, fun alternative.

Stickers also make money — and quite a lot of it. One particular messaging app revealed its revenue from sticker sales last year ($17 million in one quarter, which grew to $27.4 million the next), and effectively started the trend.

The revenue comes from consumers buying stickers to use in chats, but also from advertisers offering branded stickers that users can download if they “friend” the brand, which opts them into direct marketing.


From a business perspective, we like stickers because they pave the way for payments. The first time you buy stickers from the BBM Shop, you may wonder what will happen. Once people make that first purchase and see that it works in just a few taps, they’ll be much more willing to do it again (Give it a try!). They may buy more stickers at a later time, or something else that we offer.

Some of the messaging apps popular in Asia are getting pretty crazy with what they’re offering for sale.

If you’re new to stickers, the catch-up homework is pretty simple. First, read more about the trend and the numbers on my post over at the Business Blog. Then, try one on for size.

Download the free BBM Stickers pack and send a few to your Contacts. If the shoe fits, go shopping! Each pack gives you 20-25 stickers, and only costs a dollar or two.

What’s not to like?

About Matthew Talbot

I am the Senior Vice President - Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. I have extensive International Management, Sales and Marketing background in Mobility and Cloud technologies, Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Content in both a “Start-Up” and Public company environment. This includes stints as a senior executive at SAP, Sybase, Mobile 365 and others.

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