Twitter’s ‘stickers’ for brands to shore up profits?

Twitter has just introduced promoted stickers, which help brands get their message out through the same searchable ‘visual hashtags’ that you might already be slapping on your photos.

And guess who is the first to embrace the idea?

twitterOn Tuesday, Twitter announced promoted stickers with its first sticker partner, PepsiCo Inc. The company will offer 50 of the emoji you’ve seen on bottles and cans as stickers across 10 regions.

According to Ilya Brown, head of product, brand & video ads, Twitter: “Promoted #Stickers represents a huge opportunity for brands to drive brand affinity and raise awareness of their message at scale.”

However, Twitter is monetizing its sticker feature, by allowing brands to create and promote stickers, the company announced in a blog post.

The promoted stickers will act as a visual hashtag aimed at increasing engagement. Brands will be able to make either four or eight stickers that will act as a visual hashtag, enabling users of the same sticker to see each other, and allowing brands to track and engage users in new, creative ways. In the wake of a disappointing Q2 earnings, promoted stickers could provide a much needed increase in ad revenue for Twitter.

Monetizing sticker features has been a successful strategy for other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Line. Snapchat’s success with sponsored geofilters and lenses has helped pave the way for partnerships between branded content on social media platforms.

At the end of June, Twitter had rolled out #Stickers for all users that enabled them to tweet their photos using these colorful and playful stickers in creative ways. Stickers, like emojis, have become a fun part of the Twitter experience, mostly because you only have 140 characters to express yourself, so the more you can say with less the better.

The stickers act like visual hashtags, used to organise tweets around given topics. Now with the latest update, brands can create and promote custom stickers for anyone on Twitter to use. A brand’s stickers will be featured in the #Stickers library and offer a form of creative expression that makes a person’s photos more fun and engaging.

Twitter’s move to help brands comes at a time when the micro-blogging site is struggling with poor growth and a stagnant user base (313 million monthly active users).

Chief executive officer Jack Dorsey has been trying to experiment with different things in a bid to re-energize the site. The changes may have improved things a wee bit, but it has so far not been able to lure in new audiences or advertisers.