Twitter has revealed its latest new addition, the #Sticker. On the face of it, nothing very groundbreaking; the feature will allow users to place fun images like hats, emojis and animal faces over their images. It’s designed, in Twitter’s words, to add creativity to your photos and connect them to the Twitter world.
It’s the second part of that sentence – ‘connect to the Twitter world’ – which will turn heads, though, as the new feature will also allow you to click on the #Sticker and scroll through other users’ use of them. For a social media world becoming more and more focussed on the universal language of pictures and emojis, this will offer a new way of joining the global conversation.
How this will affect advertisers remains to be seen; however, an obvious first step would be to allow targeting of Twitter ads based on what #Stickers have been used in the same way they have recently introduced targeting based on emoji users. This would provide a quick win for Twitter, who may otherwise have to look into micropayments for special stickers. Given this isn’t something Twitter has much experience in, it looks unlikely at the moment.
Some brands have already begun using their own ‘hashflags’ though, and it’s hard to see why that wouldn’t be extended to #Stickers in the future. For those of you who’ve missed them so far, hashflags are small images automatically generated after a hashtag. You don’t get them for every hashtag and brands have paid big money to be represented. However, for some, it’s a price worth paying, especially when it encourages an ongoing conversation about the product. For example, Superman vs. Batman has its own hashtag images for both team #Superman and team #Batman. A likely possibility is the chance for Twitter to partner with brands for special events: expect to see special #Stickers popping up this summer for the new NFL season and the Rio Olympics. There’s always a danger with these kinds of promotions, though, as brands have repeatedly been caught out by their hashtags being hijacked over the years. With examples such as #McDstories continuing to bring infamy to the brand years after they stopped promoting it, it’s hard to see how pictures wouldn’t provide even more risk.
All of this relies on the feature being adopted by Twitter’s own users of course. But in a world populated with Snapchat filters and 😉 😀 😛 , it’s hard to see how it could fail.