Viber is planning to introduce a sticker store for its messaging app, as it looks to generate revenue from a potentially lucrative market.
The sale of stickers marks Viber’s first real foray into monetisation having so far offered free messaging and calls. It started to offer free stickers in December 2012.
The Viber Sticker Market will include paid content and items available via in-app purchase.
Viber will create some of the content with other items licensed from TV shows and brands. The company said the cost of individual stickers will be determined by Viber and the content providers.
The exact timing of the introduction of the sticker store is unclear, but the revenue opportunity could be significant, with Viber having more than 200 million users.
LINE has been particularly successful in monetising stickers: revenue from sticker sales within its messaging app reached $2.75 million during the second quarter of 2013, around 27 per cent of total revenue generated by the app.
Tencent added a sticker store to the iOS version of its Chinese messaging app Weixin in August, having already introduced it to the international version, WeChat.
Viber CEO Talmon Marco told TechCrunch that more paid features are “definitely” on the way. This could potentially include additional functionality for the app’s doodle feature.
Analyst firm App Annie recently put the success of messaging apps down to their regional growth and differentiating features, such as stickers.