How StickerMe is riding the chat app wave in Asia



We previously featured the very clever StickerMe app, developed by the folks at Tokyo-based Motion Portrait. In the past the company has been best known for its fun facial modification apps like Zombie Booth or Sumo Booth. But interestingly their technological expertise in facial recognition has put them in the unique position of being able to make a great sticker creation app.

Their app lets users take a picture of someone’s face and easily transform it into a customized sticker that can then be sent via Line, Kakao, or even on more traditional platforms like Facebook or email. Motion Portrait’s advantage is that the resultant stickers can even include changes to your face, like adding a smile to an unsmiling mouth, for example.

Asia Loves Stickers

So far the app has done extremely well in its first two months, picking up 1.8 million downloads during that span, mostly from around the Asia region. The countries that account for the most downloads are Japan, Thailand, and China, but it is also popular in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Of course that is all just on iOS so far, so there’s lots of potential for growth. To date, the platform that most favors StickerMe is Line with about 45% of total shares taking place on that platform. China’s WeChat is not far behind with 33%.

The app’s producer, Ryuhei Sadoshima, explained to us that that because most of the Asian countries interested in StickerMe are dominated by Android, they have even higher expectations for their upcoming Google Play release, set for later this month. Motion Portrait is targeting 10 million total downloads this year, with the hope of about 8 million downloads on Google Play.

The Next Step

CFO Takahashi Yoshimura, Producer Ryuhei Sadoshima

New stamps are on the way for StickerMe, and additional designs will be more frequent in the future. There are even plans for localized stamps for different regions, which is smart especially in places like China. A new dual/group mode is on the way too, where you can add faces of multiple friends to a sticker template.

In terms of monetization, I understand that so far in-app purchases have not performed so well – but the company is looking to do sponsored stickers in collaboration with certain companies. Motion Portrait has done lots of B2B business in Japan in the past, and they are planning to expand into sponsored stickers in the coming months.

It’s interesting to see a service like this one take advantage of the popularity of mobile chat apps on this way. And it will be really interesting to see what happens with StickerMe over the next year.

If you’d like to check out StickerMe for iOS, you can get it for free on the App Store. Or you can see our video demo of the app below.