Facebook has added stickers support to its web chat, carrying the jumbo emoticons over from the mobile apps to the desktop interface. The popular images – which some IM users love, while others find them infuriating – have been featured in Facebook’s mobile chat service for some time, but have quietly been added to conversations in the desktop browser.
The oversized images – which range from larger versions of traditional emoticons, through to huge cartoon characters – are found in the existing emoticons pane in the IM interface. However, they’re not yet available to all users, it seems; the company is apparently rolling support out progressively.
Eventually, though, there’ll be support for downloading extra “packs” of stickers. A basket icon will take users to the stickers “store” of sorts, while the different tabs in the interface will allow them to switch between the various packs they have.
For the moment, the stickers are all free of charge. However, there’s precedence for charging for the emoticons, and it’s a path Facebook might opt to follow.
Wildly popular IM service LINE offers its own paid stickers store, for instance, and it’s been a considerable source of income for the company. The most recent numbers LINE released, roughly a year ago, suggested users were spending $3.75m per month on stickers.
Given Facebook’s attempts to monetize its users, mobile particularly, that seems like a potential source of income that the social site couldn’t afford to ignore.