A sticker is a detailed illustration of a character that represents an emotion or action that is a mix of cartoons and Japanese smiley-like "emojis". They have more variety than emoticons and have a basis from internet "reaction face" culture due to their ability to portray body language with a facial reaction. Stickers are elaborate, character-driven emoticons and give people a lightweight means to communicate through kooky animations.
Stickers originated in Japan in 2011 when a Korean Internet company called Naver began developing Line in Japan. Due to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011, many of the country's telecom networks were strained and the company's data-based calls and text messages worked better than regular calls and text messages. In early 2012, the app and the profile of the characters featured in Line’s sticker collections grew quickly, with the latter developing into cult figures.
Use and model
Stickers are commonly downloadable for free, while online stores provide wider alternatives for a price. Sets may be devoted to specific themes, characters, as well as popular brands and media franchises such as Hello Kitty, Psy, and the Minions of Despicable Me.
Up until 2013 stickers had predominantly been an Asian phenomenon, but seizing upon the success of companies like Line the U.S. market began to see entrants into the space. In 2012 and 2013 the founding of both Swyft Media (formerly Text Pride) and Hi-Art marked the first US companies to enter the sticker market.
Line managers generate around one third (30%) of their profit from stickers. Stickers' commercial success led many companies to add them in their business models. Path 3.0 adds two major features in 2013 to their private social network. One of them is the Shop, part of Path’s ongoing effort to monetize its app that provides stickers to their users. In April 2013, Facebook added stickers to their web chat with a Sticker Store. Mobile messaging apps use stickers as a popular monetisation method; almost 40% of polled smartphone users actively use stickers, and more than a fifth of all the polled mobile users said they had paid for stickers/emoji in messaging apps at least once.
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