With more than 270,000 stickers, Stipop’s library of colorful, character-driven expressions has something for everyone.
The company offers keyboard and social app stickers through ad-supported mobile apps on iOS and Android, but has recently been focusing more on making stickers available to developers, developers, and other online businesses.
“We got so many artists together because we actually started out as our own app that served stickers,” Stipop co-founder Tony Park told TechCrunch. The team took what they learned while running their own consumer-facing app – namely, that collecting and licensing hundreds of thousands of stickers from artists around the world is hard work – and adapted their business to solve that problem for others.
Stipop was the first Korean company to go through Yellow, Snapchat’s exclusive accelerator. The company is also part of Y Combinator’s 2021 summer cohort.
Stipop’s sticker library is accessible through an SDK and API, allowing developers to incorporate the searchable sticker library into their existing software. The company already has more than 200 companies that draw on its huge treasure trove of stickers, which offer a “single-day solution” for a process that would otherwise require much more legwork. Stipop recently launched a website that helps developers integrate their SDK and API through quick installs.
“You can only add a single line of code to your product and get a fully customized sticker function [so] Users can spice up their chats, ”said Park.
Park points out that stickers encourage engagement – and for social software, engagement is growth. Stickers are a fun way to send characters back and forth in chat, but they also pop up in a number of other less obvious places, from dating apps to e-commerce and ride-sharing apps. Stipop is even driving the sticker search in the work collaboration software Microsoft Teams.
The company has already partnered with Google, which uses Stipop’s sticker library in Gboard, Android Messages, and Tenor, a GIF keyboard platform that Google purchased in 2018. This partnership resulted in 600 million sticker views in the first month. A new partnership between Stipop and Coca-Cola in the near future will add Coke branded stickers to its sticker library and the company is opening its doors to more brands who understand the unique appeal of stickers in messaging apps.
Park says people tend to compare stickers and gifs, two ways of wordlessly expressing emotions and social nuances, but stickers are a world of their own. Stickers exist in their own creative universe with star artists, regional themes and original casts of characters who develop a life of their own among fans. “Sticker makers have a job of their own,” said Park.
Even without elaborate illustrations, visual artists can find many stickers that create traction. And since they’re more about meaning than refinement, even non-designers and less experienced artists can make hit stickers.
“Stickers are great for her because of it [is] It’s so easy to go viral, “said Park. The company has partnered with 8,000 sticker creators in 25 languages to help these artists monetize their creations and generate revenue based on the number of times a sticker is shared.
Stickers have their own visual language around the world, and Park has observed interesting cultural differences in the way people use them to communicate. In the west, stickers are often used in place of text, but in Asia, where they are much more widely used, people usually send stickers to enhance the meaning of text rather than to replace it.
In East Asia, users tend to prefer simple black and white stickers, but bright gold stickers are very popular in India and Saudi Arabia. In South America, popular stickers take on a more pixelated, unique quality that resonates culturally there.
“You fall in love with stickers [the] Characters you send … that becomes you, ”said Park.
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