Today Facebook is releasing a new app called “Stickered” For Messenger that lets you pick a photo, resize and paste a Facebook Sticker on top, and send it to friends. “Stickers and photos are two of the most popular ways that people express themselves on Messenger. This is a fun experiment to see how people combine the two” the company tells me. Built by Facebook’s Creative Labs mobile design studio, it’s the first companion app for Messenger.
Stickered For Messenger is available on Android and
is coming to iOS soon and now iOS too. It comes out alongside a big speed boost and new animated sending/sent/delivered/read receipts on Messenger.
Facebook is also dabbling with Snapchat-style frames you can overlay on your photos. On New Year’s Eve, the selfie camera in Messenger will let you add a New Year’s-themed frame over your photo, similar to what you might get out of a physical photo booth machine. Snapchat released its “filters” that overlay graphics or the name of the place you’re in July, and they’ve proven popular. Facebook has cribbed features and designs from Snapchat before, so it’s not too big of a surprise to see it planning a filter/frame experiment in Messenger.
Additional updates rolling out today on Messenger include holiday sticker packs seen below and an animation that turns Chat Heads on Android into little snow globes.
With Stickered for Messenger [Correction: not “Stickers”] you first tap the camera button to snap or select one of your photos. You can then choose from hundreds of Facebook Stickers, move them around, tilt and resize them, and then fix them to your photo. Hitting the Messenger icon then sends fast-switches you over to the Messenger app where you can choose which friends to send your little creation to.
Drawing on photos became popular over the last few years thanks to Snapchat. Facebook jumped on trend in June with the release of ephemeral photo sharing app Slingshot, and then in September added overlaid text and drawing to photos in Messenger For Android.
Facebook tells me the idea for the app spawned from a commercial and billboard ad campaign Facebook ran in Los Angeles promoting Messenger with people interacting with Stickers in real life. That got Facebook thinking harder about the fun people could have with overlays.
Stickered isn’t trying to make money directly, at least not yet. But if it can drive lock-in for Messenger in the extremely competitive chat space, it might lead people to use Facebook more as a whole, including the News Feed where the social network shows ads.
While some humans have a way with words, other prefer images to get their point across. Tools like Stickered could give Messenger an edge in the chat app wars, while making its biggest competitor, SMS, look even more ancient.