WhatsApp just launched stickers

The most popular chatting platform in the world, WhatsApp, used to lack support for the ever-popular sticker packs that have been available on rival messaging services such as Viber, Facebook Messenger and Apple’s iMessage for years now, but that’s now changing.

According to WhatsApp’s announcement Friday, the company is introducing stickers for those times when visual communication is more appropriate than blocks of text.

Whether with a smiling teacup or a crying broken heart, stickers help you share your feelings in a way that you can’t always express with words. To start, we’re launching sticker packs created by our designers at WhatsApp and a selection of stickers from other artists.

The firm said that stickers will be available in the iPhone and Android app over the coming weeks, but we’ve spotted traces of it in WhatsApp’s latest 2.18.100 update for iPhone.

We were able to receive stickers, but not send or download them. That’s because sticker packs are being released in stages, meaning you should check back in a few days if stickers are currently unavailable to you in your copy of WhatsApp.

There are 12 default company-designed sticker packs to choose from at launch. You can use them in the mobile app, as well as directly from WhatsApp’s web app. A dedicated Stickers Store makes it easy to download new sticker packs for free.

To use stickers in a conversation, first tap the emoji button in the chat bar, then hit the new Sticker button from the bottom bar and select the sticker you want to share.

To visit the built-in Stickers Store, tap the Plus icon. The History tab lets you quickly find previously-used stickers. To see all the stickers you’ve favorited in one place, hit the Favorites tab. To favorite a sticker, tap and hold it in a conversation and choose the star option from the bubble menu. You can even send multiple stickers at once and recipients can view and swipe through them in WhatsApp’s gallery view like any other multi-image attachment.

Last but not least, they’ve also released a set of APIs for third-parties who would like to create their own sticker packs and distribute them to WhatsApp users on iPhone and Android.

“You can publish your sticker app like any other app to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, and users who download and install your app will be able to start sending those stickers right from within WhatsApp,” the company explained in a support document.

WhatsApp is a free download from App Store.