The Benefits of iMessage Stickers for Gaming Apps

When Apple released the iMessage App store in the fall of 2016, sticker creators and designers jumped on board immediately to create their own iMessage sticker apps. Popular brands, such as Lululemon, also entered the iMessage market with their own branded stickers.

Our team has worked with many talented designers and brands in the past year in launching their stickers with the help of our management portal and open sourced projects. One thing we noticed is that many people still associate iMessage Stickers with brand images or original designs by artists when there is a major market untapped by gaming apps.

Many of the top paid and free apps in the app store are driven by the success of gaming apps. However, we haven’t seen many games take advantage of the iMessage App Store to push out stickers of their game.

Sensortower conducted a research on gaming apps and their sticker counterparts to see if releasing stickers of the game increased growth of the gaming app itself. They analyzed the downloads certain games were receiving pre stickers release and compared the increase in growth after the sticker apps were integrated. The chart below shows the increase in growth these gaming apps experienced after they released their gaming app in the first week. Incredible right?

Sensortower: iMessage Stickers More Than Tripled Downloads of Some iOS Games

Sensortower: iMessage Stickers More Than Tripled Downloads of Some iOS Games

There are many benefits for gaming apps to release their own branded iMessage Stickers:

1. Increase user engagement
For a gaming app’s loyal players, the sticker app will allow them to engage with their favorite game through another channel. Players can send stickers to their friends who may also be players of the game, allowing the gaming app to play a role in the communication between players outside of their app. This increases user engagement and also serves as a gentle and friendly reminder to the player that the gaming app is always available for them to play with.

2. Create organic user discovery
Having a sticker app in the iMessage store is a great way to promote your game to a different audience. For users who may not know about your game, discovering and downloading stickers will allow you to tap into a network of millions of iOS users who are looking for new iMessage sticker apps to download. Furthermore, iTunes gives you the option to bundle your sticker and gaming app together so if the user downloads your stickers, they’ll receive your game automatically! Though be wary that in certain cases, users may not like the bundling feature and prefer to pick which apps they download. Organic user discovery can be a great way to promote your app so make sure the stickers you use are on brand but also relatable to a large audience.

3. New areas of monetization
Releasing a free sticker app will generate more downloads than a paid one. However, once user downloads start coming in, we highly recommend creating a paid sticker pack that users can unlock from their existing sticker app. In-app purchases are a big area of monetization for many iOS apps and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t apply the same strategy in your free sticker app.

4. You have the assets!
Thats right! If you have a gaming app, chances are that you can use a lot of your existing assets as stickers. While you may have to alter or create a few new designs, there’s no need to design everything from scratch. When we worked with ZAG Heroez to publish their first iMessage app [link to that blog post in the new website], they used many of their existing assets for their sticker app, saving them both time and money.

So clearly you can tell that we love and take stickers very seriously! Our powerful sticker management platform has allowed many creators and brands to receive analytics that tell them how their app is performing and who their audience is. From our portal, you can seamlessly track, manage, and update stickers on the fly all without submitting another build to the app store.

Sounds exciting? Get started today!