Apple’s New Stickers Dominate iMessage App Store

A girl smiling while using her phone
A girl smiling while using her phone
A girl smiling while using her phone

Ever since Apple’s latest iOS 10 update, the message has been clear. Their native messaging service, iMessage, will never be the same. Now it’s more colourful, more featured and more fun. With the update comes the ability to send so much more than blue bubbled dialogue, from handwritten scribbles to animated visual effects and the option to have conversations with no words at all.

One of the most exciting features allows in-message purchases of third party Sticker Packs which can be shared, dragged and dropped into any part of the message thread. It’s a marketers’, personality or brand owners dream. A chance to be part of unique and intimate conversations in a completely different way to social media platforms, all while providing a steady new revenue stream. Although iMessage stickers are a new concept for Apple, the market for them is vast with 800m iPhone users sending over 200k iMessages every second [Business Insider, 2016].

iMessage is built into iPhones at a fundamental level, and as a result it will always have a place with their fan base. While Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger have been making huge strides in instant messaging (with 1,000 and 900 million users respectively), iMessage has quietly watched, learned and subsequently upped it’s game. According to Business Insider, messaging apps are even surpassing social networks when it comes to monthly active users. As this trend grows, so too will the desire to engage with audiences via emojis and stickers in order to remain part of the conversation.

Within 9 days of the iOS 10 update being launched to the public, the Message App Store grew to over 1,650 applications and sticker packs (Sensor Tower). What’s more, the most popular type of messages app is the sticker pack. At the time of writing, sticker packs account for 1,251 of the total apps on the storefront.

While it could be easy to think the popularity is due to free packs, the store is largely outweighed by the paid stickers. For instance, there are 944 paid sticker packs in the store with just 307 of them free (Sensor Tower). With genre’s mixing from ‘Celebmojis’ and food, to ‘Gaming Heroes’ and cats, there is a Sticker Pack for close to every taste.

As social media increasingly transitions into private groups, messaging apps and a bulked up iMessage platform, so too does the distribution of rich media within these channels. So it makes sense that stickers and custom graphics are leading the way towards the next evolution of social sharing for branded content.

If you think an iMessage Sticker Pack could benefit your business, or you’re curious to know more, we’re now supporting businesses in setting up their own content for the iMessage App Store. Get in touch at for more information.

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