Move over, emojis and GIFs, stickers are the next hot item every social app or keyboard must have. As if we didn't have enough ways to express ourselves in our messages, there's even more pressure now on finding the right visual to convey our current state among a sea of potential sticker packs. WhatsApp is the latest messenger to join the game with its own sticker implementation in a beta release.
In WhatsApp beta 2.18.329 (APK Mirror), sticker packs will show up as a third bottom tab when you go to insert emojis or GIFs. They may not be activated right away though, so you might need to wait for a server-side switch or receive at least one sticker in a conversation to trigger them. For me, they were live on WhatsApp Web but not on my phone, despite running the correct beta, so I just sent one sticker in a chat on the web and it triggered the feature to appear on my device.
Once in the sticker tab, you can tap the + button on the right to add more packs. A few are available to download right away and can be organized in the My Stickers section, but there's also a link to check out more options on the Play Store.
Once you've downloaded a few packs, they will all show up in the stickers tab. The top row of the keyboard also contains several shortcuts to see your recently used stickers (you can remove the ones you don't want); as well as a "heart" icon (left screenshot below) that expands (middle and right screenshot) into a happy face, heart, sad face, and exclamation mark. These sub-sections organize a few of your stickers according to the sentiment behind them, so you can easily choose one that works for you without delving into each pack separately.
I like the idea here. One of the reasons I don't use stickers in Gboard is because I don't have time to look for appropriate ones, and I prefer to use emojis or GIFs. I'm not sure if this will convince me to use them more, but at least it won't hurt.
Another sub-section is for favorites. When you find a sticker that resonates with you, you can tap and hold to add it to your favorites, which are easier to find in the future.
If you receive a sticker in a conversation, you can tap to add it to your favorites or view the pack it's coming from and download it on your device. And finally, you may notice that if you send stickers in succession, WhatsApp will save a bit of vertical space and show two next to each other. It looks weird to my eyes because I've never seen the app display messages like this before, but it would help in conversations where many stickers are shared.
To give stickers a try, you need to be on the latest WhatsApp beta 2.18.329, which you can get directly from APK Mirror, or from the Play Store after joining the official beta program. But as I mentioned, you may need to wait a bit for the feature to get triggered.
- Bogdan Manole,
- Samarth Verma,
- Ibrahim Al-Alali,