Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has been under pressure to introduce innovations that will attract users since he returned as chief executive in October. He has been doing all things possible to get users to stick around and to add more users. In his latest attempt, the micro-blogging firm disclosed a new feature called Stickers, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Twitter follows bigger rivals
These days it is quite difficult to find a communications app without stickers. WhatsApp, Line, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and many others allow users to paste virtual cartoons onto messages. Apple will bring stickers to iMessage when iOS 10 is pushed out this fall. Google’s upcoming Allo messaging app will have them as well. Now Twitter is adding stickers, but its take is slightly different.
Though the new stickers have rolled out to users, they will not show up by themselves in private messages or 140-character tweets as the standard emojis currently do. Currently before sharing stickers on Twitter, users apply them to photos in the network’s Android or iOS app during the photo-editing stage.
Stickers are not available for images that users share via direct message. The only stickers the company is offering right now are the standard unicode emojis: dancing ladies, national flags, smiley faces, animals and food.
More options for users
Twitter has announced plans to add more stickers but refused to say when they will arrive or where they will come from. The stickers will have a unique social component: if a user tweets an image with a sticker, the people viewing the picture on Twitter’s Android and iOS apps can tap on the sticker to see other images that have the same sticker. The stickers could act like visual hashtags, which are used to organize tweets around given topics.
Twitter introduced its Moments feature in October. It curates videos and tweets from breaking newsworthy events. The social media platform also added a tab called Connect in May to suggest who to follow. It addressed complaints as well by improving ways to report harassment. However, these changes have failed to bring in new advertisers or audiences. Whether this new feature will help the platform or not remains to be seen.
In pre-market trading today, Twitter shares were up by over 2%. Year to date, the stock is down 29%, while in the last year, it is down by over 55%.