The Genius Behind Twitter's #Stickers

To its credit, Twitter has recently been on a product-improvement tear.

Just last week, the network increased its allotted video upload length from 30 seconds to 140 seconds; launched Engage, a new app for video creators to more easily manage their fan bases; and laid the groundwork for a “Watch Mode,” which will soon let users sit back and stream one video after another.

Now, as part of a broader effort to engage more users, Twitter is adding a virtual #Stickers feature.

Among hundreds of other options, users will soon be able to add cartoonish sunglasses, clown faces, and tiaras to their photos before tweeting them out. 

“You can browse our rotating sets of stickers to join in on real-time conversations, and select from the library of hundreds of accessories, emoji, and props to make your photos more fun,” Sasank Reddy, senior product manager at Twitter, notes in a new blog post.

The operative word there is “fun.”

Yes, silly as it sounds, fun is thought to be the secret behind Snapchat and other thriving digital platforms.

“In a world in which there is an app for nearly everything, Snapchat has cut through the clutter by injecting fun back into social sharing," Cathy Boyle, a principal analyst at eMarketer, noted in a recent report.

Likewise, fun was top-of-mind for thoughts leaders gathered in Cannes, last week.

“We have to design for fun,” Billie Whitehouse, CEO of Wearable Experiments, told Cannes Lions TV behind the main stage. “It’s such a huge part of our life … it’s the core of our human experience.”

These days, there are powerful forces fighting against fun. “We’re now thinking about quantifying everything in such a real detailed way that we’re forgetting that there is this element of fun that is really important to how we live our lives,” Whitehouse said.

Of course, we know Twitter will be closely quantifying the success of #Stickers, but that doesn’t mean users can’t have a little fun right now.

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