Why Are Millennials And GenZs Head Over Heels For Stickers
Updated: Apr 21
First came the artists, then mathematicians, and then came the writers and poets.
If we look at the history of our species we will find that the earliest form of expression was via art and visuals. Then came partial languages that allowed humans to store numbers. And then came complete scripts of languages that allowed people to express everything with words.
So our connection with visuals is primal and our love for them is hard-wired in our genes for centuries.
With the development of technology, visuals are once again the most desirable means of communication. This goes especially in a pandemic fighting world where technology is the most optimal way of keeping people connected.
It is via visuals like emojis, GIFs, Stickers, and avatars that the tech-savvy generation expresses their feelings today.
But the use of these visuals is not limited to Millenials and GenZs. Even Boomers and BabyBoomers even though not that fluently but use this language. Visuals like GIFs and Emojis are popular. But stickers are also gaining popularity at a very fast pace.
Stickers Are Old School
Stickers are not new in any way. Many generations used stickers for self-expression when digital stickers were not even conceptualized.
Little illustrations that teenagers would stick on their diaries or backpacks to emphasize facets of their personalities.
A guitar like stickers on the notebook of a guitarist who just formed a band. Or skulls and bone on the backpack of a rebel.
Even brands and businesses embraced them. Many businesses still use them as the "word of mouth" marketing technique. These physical stickers are very successful. But digital stickers have taken the sticker game to a whole new level.
What are digital stickers?
In short digital stickers are stickers that people share during online conversations. Big Surprise!! These are small illustrations that depict a scene or an emotion.
Stickers are mostly free or are available in packages for a tiny one-time fee. Many apps even provide custom stickers like Snapchat or Bobble AI. Most chatting apps like WhatsApp have a good search system for easy sticker access. Telegram App has many stickers with different characters presenting different occasions.
Stickers were first popularized by the Korean-developed messaging app Line in 2011. Then came Snapchat with its stickers and soon Facebook and messaging apps were using them.
It no surprise as using an illustration that tells how you feel is much easier than typing messages on with hieroglyphs. Various companies devoted to stickers emerged as well, with design studios starting to offer their services.
Let's Talk Stats
Today teenagers would rather spend their time on messengers than surfing social networks.
“Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.” — Mark Zuckerberg, in a public Q&A in November 2014
On average Indian WhatsApp users spend 21.3 hours on the app per month. This is more than all other popular social media/ messenger platforms. Why else would a billion-dollar company like Facebook put their eggs in the WhatsApp basket?
GIF platform Tenor commissioned a study conducted by Harris Poll. The study showed that 36% of millennials ages 18 to 34 use “visual expressions” such as emojis, GIFs and stickers. These millennials say that visuals better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do.
Millennials and GenZ, the tech-savvy majority of social media and messenger users love these visual. This majority is enough to make a profit for Line, Snapchat, WeChat, Viber, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. On average Facebook Messenger sees 380 million stickers shares daily. Line App sees more than 1 billion stickers shares each day.
3 Reasons Why People Use Stickers
As said above stickers are old school. But what else do they bring to the table other than loving nostalgia?
Add The Spice Of Emotion
I know there are people who like plain butter noodles but the majority still goes for spicy ones. Plain texts are often boring and can even lead to miscommunication because of their inability to convey emotions.
You can say "I would love to that" while rolling your eyes but just text can't convey your sarcasm. But that sarcastic tone of yours can be easily expressed with Stickers, GIFs, or even an eye-rolling emoji.
We are the instant-gratification Generation
Technology has shortened our attention span with the overwhelming input of information that we come across each day. And I know you might have seen this coming but "a picture is worth a thousand words", right?
Visuals like stickers allow us to have quick colourful conversations that fit right into our busy lives. You can say a lot by sharing that forehead kiss stickers with your partner or any loved one to remind them you are thinking of them.
Amazing Form Of Self-Expression.
Everyone has their own unique style. Stickers are a great way of making your conversations represent that style. People actually relate to a particular set of stickers so much that it becomes their go-to pack. There can be different packs that you use to communicate with different people in your life.
Like that sassy sticker pack that you use especially in the group chat with your best friends. Or that simpleton sticker pack that you keep in reserve for family chats.
Where Are Stickers Headed
Visual communication has gained immense popularity amongst mobile users. Stickers make users conversations easier, quicker, brighter, and emotional.
Many platforms are finding more ways to enhance the stickers experience. In 2019, WhatsApp came up with ways in which people can make their own stickers.
Snapchat has been providing users with personalizable BitMoji Avatar stickers for quite some time now.
Bobble AI provide users with an easier way to make their own stickers to which custom message can be added. These stickers can have users faces on them. Many brands have been leveraging conversation media marketing via stickers.
AI and Machine Learning algorithms are used to provide users with quick sticker searches as well as relevant results. With the help of Machine Learning algorithms apps also learn What you like the most to serve you with better sticker options.
It is the economy of people and people love Conversation Media forms like Stickers, GIFs, Emojis, Avatars, Animojis, and all other visual forms of online communications.