smileys, emoticons, emoji or stickers. They dress our emails, chat conversations and SMS our patterns of all colors. From smiling to moving images via the cute cat face, they embody in their own way a certain culture of the image on the Web. Thanks to smartphones, these small images are now fertile ground for a booming economy.
A new means of communication
The smileys have evolved since the early messengers. Combinations of punctuation (eg, colon followed by a parenthesis – :) – a smiling face) have been replaced by icons specially designed by the mobile manufacturers. The first to have seen the phenomenon is NTT DoCoMo. In the late 90s, the Japanese operator has launched the "emoji", a font only consists of standard icons. NTT DoCoMo wanted to facilitate the exchange of its customers by integrating images directly into their mobile phone. "When someone sends 'I understand', the speaker may not know if this is something nice, or if it is something negative," explained Shigetaka Kurita, creator of emojis in an interview with the magazine The Verge 1, to justify his invention. "You never know what happens in the mind of the person who sends us a message."
With emoji, users have SMS easily add to their hearts or little faces expressing emotions of the moment. First acclaimed by Japanese teenagers, emojis became widespread in 2011, thanks to their integration in iOS 5, Apple's mobile operating system. They were then adopted by other services, including the latest version of Android (mobile operating system from Google), Windows Phone or Hangout, instant messaging, Google, and recently social networks like Twitter. Example
stickers used on Line. Already
20% of turnover Line
The arrival of emojis gave ideas to companies specializing in services for mobile. The instant messaging applications such as KakaoTalk, Line or WeChat, sought to monetize the interest of their users for these cute pictures or funny. Thus were born the "stickers", a larger version – especially pay – emoticons.
This new generation smileys owes much to Japanese Application Line.2 Since its launch in 2011, the courier was a large catalog of Pay images, updated through collaborations with artists or celebrities. On Line, you can buy stickers bearing the image of Paul McCartney or the latest manga fashion free credit score. Users to collect them because of a few tens of cents per unit. In 2013, Line has managed to generate 50 million euros from the sale of stickers, or 20% of its turnover.
As smileys and emojis the stickers used to communicate with contacts quickly and efficiently. A significant interest in Asia, including ideographic languages complicate writing on a keyboard. European and American public as it converts, more for the fun side of these images. Line spotted this hearing and adapts its catalog to local tastes in countries where it grows. Spain, users can buy the official stickers Real Madrid or FC Barcelona.
Inspired by the success of Line, Western Web companies also put the stickers. Facebook has launched a store in its messaging service, Facebook Messenger, currently only stocked lots of free stickers. BlackBerry has done well his BBM application. The stickers have appeared in smaller services, such as the Path application that has made his sole source of income. From
advertising in the middle of conversations
As usage increases, the stickers are becoming increasingly an advertising channel. Again, applications Asian IM showed the way. They put Passier partnerships with brands such as Coca-Cola, to produce Sponsored stickers. On Facebook, and you can use stickers bearing the image of LEGO or Muppets (owned by Walt Disney Studio). Thus, users are left to themselves transmit advertising messages to their friends.
"Rather than calling around the content with banners, the advertisement is brought to heart conversations," says Jonathan Levy-Bencheton, co-founder of Feeligo. The French start-up that offers a tool stickers for websites, has teamed up with the production company Century Fox. Through this partnership, members of the site aufeminin.com, Feeligo client can use stickers bearing the image of drawing anime Rio-2, produced by Century Fox. Encouraged by his first campaign, Feeligo now seeks to support other brands in this new form of communication.
All brands do not bother with such an agent. In March, the famous designer Karl Lagerfeld launched his own line stickers in his likeness, available by downloading an application for smartphones. A strategy to attract young users and ensure a new source of revenue, all at a lower cost. To attract consumers, Web companies and brands now feature their best smile.