Twitter is like a little brother running behind the older kids, trying to keep pace. Whenever a larger platform releases a new feature, Twitter is not far behind to follow suit. This infinite game of Simon-says seems to never end, since on Tuesday it announced that its new feature, Stickers, is now live for all users.
Twitter posted about the feature in late June on their blog, stating that stickers would be soon to come to the platform. Throughout the past month, select users have been allowed to use the feature for testing and promotion. Many were influencers on Twitter with a large following, in order to drum up anticipation for the feature.
Stickers, as many already know, are digital illustrations and decorations a user can put over their photos. The Twitter stickers include everything from cute cartoon animals, beards and accessories to add to faces, the classic emoji set list, and so much more. With a majority of users today striving for originality and individualism, Stickers is a prime feature to capitalize on that need. Stickers don’t just let users post a photo, but it allows them to add a touch of personality it.
Stickers have shown to be a great success on other big platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat, so it was only a matter of time that Twitter released the feature to it’s users as well. How Twitter is setting itself apart is that their stickers are searchable, just like hashtags. Users can share their photos, and search for similar posts based on what stickers other users are posting most frequently.
The idea of promoted stickers is also floating around the Internet. Perhaps social marketers will be able to create promoted stickers for users to put on images, similar to promoted filters on Snapchat. This could give Twitter leverage for economic gains, and ultimately be a win-win-win situation for Twitter, social marketers, and users; Twitter gets increased profits, social marketers get a unique platform for promoting their clients, and users get a fun addition to their images.
However, with the release of Stickers also comes a good amount of backlash from unhappy users. With all the hype surrounding this new feature, many users are asking where the focus is on more pressing issues with Twitter? Many are calling for the company to focus their attention to fixing the fact that users cannot edit their previously published tweets, causing headaches when spelling and grammar errors occur, due to having to delete and republish the tweet altogether. Likewise, users are calling for Twitter to crack down on the intense trolling that occurs on the platform. Twitter’s protections for users against harassment are quite slim, and this often causes users, like Ghostbusters’ star Leslie Jones after she was flooded with racist tweets, to leave Twitter altogether.
So what will the future of Twitter look like with the addition of stickers? Will it bring more entertaining, image-based tweets and foster user connections? Or will it continue to participate in this continuous game of Simon-Says, led by Facebook and Snapchat? And will Twitter address the other obvious issues plaguing its platform? Time will only tell.