Study: IMessage dominates digital sticker engagement
- Half of all branded digital stickers are being shared through iMessage, according to a six-month analysis of 8 million stickers by Bare Tree Media. Facebook Messenger is the platform with the next highest volume of digital sticker traffic, contributing 20% of digital sticker sharing. Snapchat is responsible for 10%, and WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter are each responsible for 5%. Instagram and other messaging platforms house the remainder.
- Engagement with branded sticker packs and app sticker add-ons clocks in at an average of 3.5 minutes per session, compared to 4.8 minutes per session on average for apps from various industries, including retail and e-commerce, and media and entertainment. Digital sticker communications are primarily one-on-one in messaging platforms. The exception is if they are made in combination with user-generated photos.
- Bare Tree Media reported users of its platform send 5.5 digital stickers per session, a measure it asserts demonstrates that stickers drive user engagement on messaging apps.
Bare Tree Media’s analysis underscores brands should be concentrating heavily on messaging services when rolling out sticker campaigns. The messaging platforms hold sway over digital stickers despite major emoji efforts on the part of social media players. Snapchat acquired Bitmoji last year for roughly $100 million, and Bitmoji has gone on to become the most downloaded app in five major app markets. Emogi estimated Facebook introduced some 1,200 emoji in 2016, and Twitter blasted the Twittersphere with topical digital stickers covering everything from the Olympics to the New York Public Library. Instagram has unleashed decorative stickers, too.
Social media possibly hasn’t had as great an impact in the digital sticker trade as messaging services because consumers feel more comfortable freely sharing digital stickers in personal conversations rather than broadcasting them publicly to large groups, per Bare Tree Media. Apple iMessage undoubtedly has been helped by a big push, including with an ad campaign, from the company to direct consumers to digital stickers available in the iMessage App Store. And, if teens’ preference for Apple phones is any indication, iMessage could rule over the digital sticker universe into the foreseeable future.
As the language of messaging is increasingly loaded with digital stickers brands don’t want to be left out of the lexicon. Unlike many marketing arenas in which brands aren’t welcome, Emogi's research discovered people are simply hungry for further digital sticker options, branded or not.