MessageMe, one of the newest players in the red-hot mobile messaging space, on Thursday updated its iOS application with stickers, giving members the option to communicate through fluffy, goofy, or cutesy expressive characters in lieu of words.
Founded in 2012, MessageMe launched earlier this year with a sophisticated, yet playful approach to mobile messaging, offering members a polished interface for sending more than just messages in friend and group chats. The San Francisco-based startup has raised roughly $12 million in funding but is a late entrant to a crowded space where dominant forces, like WhatsApp and its 300 million active users, seem impossible to catch.
MessageMe has introduced stickers as yet another way to communicate with pals in a nonverbal fashion. The app already allowed members to exchange doodles, pictures, videos, voice messages, location, and music. MessageMe is selling sticker packs for $1.99 apiece, following the lead of Line and Path. The startup has worked with game and toy makers TinyCo and Hullabalu on some of the packs.
Stickers are the latest trend to migrate to American messaging apps. The digital entities are larger, character-based emoticons that allow for fun or nuanced communication sans words. Japan-based Line, which has 200 million users, popularized stickers overseas and is the inspiration behind their additions to Path, Facebook, and other U.S. apps, likely because Line makes good money from them. Line made 30 percent of its first-quarter 2013 revenue, or around $18 million, from selling sticker packs.
The MessageMe update also comes with a new photo broadcast feature, providing users with a faster means of sending pictures to several friends all at once.