Move over emojis, WhatsApp stickers are the new way to chat

Samuel fishwick

Sometimes words fail us. This provides a gap in the market that WhatsApp’s new stickers are determined to fill.

The messaging giant, a subsidiary of Facebook since 2014, has introduced 12 free sticker packs to punctuate your conversations. Stick with us.

Like its pre-existing equivalents on apps such as Facebook Messenger, the new function is a crowd-pleaser, with characterful sets including an emotional teacup, befuddled husky dog and a bibimbap bowl wearing a suit.

This solves all manner of problems. For instance, that lingering silence on the group chat after a friend raises the US mid-term results again, when no one really has the time or energy to engage, can be plugged with a joyful dinosaur sporting a party hat. You’ve engaged ostensibly and cheerily disengaged at the other end of the phone.

Want to go out for dinner after work? Bibimbap bowl wearing a suit. Can’t make dinner after work? Sad bibimbap bowl.

The possibilities are, in fact, limitless, as you can code and create your own stickers in the iOS and Android apps. Sample apps and code can be found on the WhatsApp website.

Diwali stickers for WhatsApp, on the Google Play Store, have proved popular in India over the past week, where users have found them a convenient shorthand that takes less out of monthly data packages.

Stickers are more expressive but less emotive than “emoticons” such as smiley faces, and it’s been suggested that their popularity stems from their ability to connect different personality types on messenger apps.

If you’re less concerned with how others perceive you, stickers appeal as a simulacrum of how you’re feeling. If you’re reserved, they act as a smokescreen without distancing yourself from a conversation. Such is the way of WhatsApp groups.

Clowns to the left of you, jokers to the right, sticker in the middle with you.