Facebook-owned WhatsApp to introduce stickers for messaging, finally

For now, users will be able to download the new sticker packs for free.
For now, users will be able to download the new sticker packs for free.PHOTO: WHATSAPP

WhatsApp users will finally be able to express themselves with stickers.

In a Thursday (Oct 25) blog post, the Facebook-owned mobile messaging application said it would be launching stickers, cartoons or images that resemble their real-life adhesive counterparts, for Android and iPhone "over the coming weeks".

"To start, we're launching sticker packs created by our designers at WhatsApp and a selection of stickers from other artists," it said.

For now, users will be able to download the new sticker packs for free.

WhatsApp added in its Thursday post that it had added support for third-party sticker packs to allow designers and developers to create stickers for the app.

It has also released guidelines for sticker creators. Stickers must have a transparent background, be exactly 512 by 512 pixels large, and have a file size of less than 100KB.

WhatsApp is rather late to the sticker soirée. Other popular messaging apps like WeChat, Line and Telegram all already have the ability for users to send stickers while chatting.

Technology news site TechCrunch reported that Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company, had launched stickers for its Messenger app as early as April 2013.

WhatsApp currently has GIFs and emojis as part of its non-verbal communication capabilities. The app has over 1.5 billion users globally, according to a TechCrunch report in February.

News site Quartz reported that fellow messaging app Line generates over US$270 million (S$372.6 million) annually from sticker pack purchases.