To start, WhatsApp will offer stickers packs from WhatsApp designers and other artists, but the Facebook-owned messaging app will also allow third-party designers and developers to create their own sticker packs.
WhatsApp’s one billion users will soon be able to tap into sticker packs via a new sticker button.
To start, WhatsApp will offer packs “created by our designers at WhatsApp and a selection of stickers from other artists,” WhatsApp said in a blog post. But the Facebook-owned messaging app will also allow third-party designers and developers to create their own sticker packs.
“To do this, we’ve included a set of APIs and interfaces that allow you to build sticker apps that add stickers to WhatsApp on Android or iOS. You can publish your sticker app like any other app to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, and users who download and install your app will be able to start sending those stickers right from within WhatsApp,” the company said.
Users can then add new packs to their sticker aresenals by tapping the plus sign.
Stickers will be rolling out to Android and iOS devices “over the coming weeks.”
While a minor move in the grand scheme of things, this could be an indication that WhatsApp is looking to integrate more functions from Facebook, which purchased WhatsApp in 2014, in yet another effort to collect data on you. Facebook could also be looking to its other apps as a way to keep its user base secure amidst privacy-related backlash to its main app.
The launch of stickers comes after WhatsApp CEO Jan Keom left the company, reportedly because he was “worn down by the differences in approach.” According to reports, Keom and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disagreed over data privacy; Zuckerberg wanted to weaken WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption and insert ads into WhatsApp.
Similarly Instagram’s co-founders both left Facebook recently saying that they are “ready for our next chapter” and want to “explore our curiosity and creativity again,” the implication being that “curiosity and creativity” are not being encouraged in the same way at Facebook.