BlackBerry is taking a page out of its messaging app rivals’ books today – or should I say STICKER BOOKS. Because it’s stickers I’m talking about: BBM is getting them, via a new BBM Shop being deployed that will live within the BBM app itself.
If you’re unfamiliar with stickers (not the actual adhesive things, which you presumably know about, but their digital equivalent), they’re basically big, elaborate emoticons that tend to be cute and can often involve licensed properties. BBM will indeed be partnering with brands on some of their sticker packs, as well as introducing some original characters. Each pack contains between 10 to 25 individual stickers, so that you can convey common emotions like “I fell on my skateboard and lost my eye and then fixed that with bandaids but I’m fine so thumbs up!”
The BBM Shop will offer Sticker packs for purchase, as well as some free collections, including the legacy BBM emoticons, blown up for additional emotional power. Both stickers and the shop launch today in a limited external beta, which means that you could conceivably be sticking it to your friends and family very soon.
BlackBerry seems to finally be treating BBM as a fully formed business line deserving of its own respect, and no doubt Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp has helped the company realize where its priorities probably should’ve been for the past five years. Stickers in BBM doesn’t mean the BlackBerry messenger gets sold tomorrow for $19.1 billion. But it does give the platform a feature common to many of its rivals, and a revenue stream (which could get more interesting, depending on what else gets sold or distributed through the BBM Store).