January Issue

Vol 23|No 3|January 2014

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Viber stickers shown here with permission from Viber Media, Inc.

Sweetening the Message

by Jamie McKenzie (about author)


Many people have stopped speaking on the phone and turned instead to text messaging of various kinds. Both email and text messages have long suffered from an unintentional harshness that comes from the loss of reassurance that is carried by tone of voice or visual cues present when face to face. Emoticons have always served to cushion and reassure, but they were a bit weak until just recently when new Apps have appeared such as Viber that offer much sweeter and more powerful emoticons - called stickers.

Saving the Day (and the relationship)

Have you ever found yourself in an electronic quarrel that is a total surprise?

You send an email or a text message that seems innocent enough when you type it but your 130 characters set off a violent reaction. You are astonished and hurt by the misunderstanding. You are tempted to fire back an angry retort. But thanks to stickers, you can save the day.

Which of the following would keep the peace? Which would be most likely to appease, placate, pacify, conciliate, soothe, and calm down your partner?

Viber stickers shown here with permission from Viber Media, Inc.
You can download the app for your smart phone or your laptop at
Viber Media, Inc.


As they say, a picture can be worth a thousand words. Fortunately, Viber offers quite an extensive palette of stickers, many more than those shown here. They tend toward the blunt and the obvious, but usually in a sweet way. Why mince words or beat around the bush?

love youlove youlove youlove youlove youlove you

Some of the stickers are cute and romantic. Others are more amusing and cartoon-like. Half of the sets are free, but an expanded palette will cost $1.99 for each new set added. Some work best for friends and romantic partners, but others could serve for business messaging.

The Future of Stickers


According Viber Media Content Manager, Zoe Weissman, in charge of planning and designing future stickers, we can expect to see many exciting new stickers and other innovations. When I sent Viber a few questions about the future, I received the following responses:

1. How did you come up with the name "stickers" for your wonderful emoticons?

Stickers and emoticons are two different things. Viber stickers are the same idea as the stickers we collected as kids: small images that easily convey a message without having to type. Note: we also have an original set of "emoticons" that can be sent as a part of a message.

2. Compared to all of the other emoticons available with other text messaging APPs, your stickers are a "break away" product and a technology that sets Viber apart and above all the other. Can you share a story or two about how they were dreamed up by your company? It is such a great example of ingenuity and creativity. I am sure my readers would love to know of the birth process.

One example: one of our most favorite characters is LegCat. We always knew we wanted a fat, lazy cat to be part of our sticker family, but we weren't sure exactly what his personality would be like or what his name would be. The decision was made for us the day an adorable fat ginger cat jumped on one of our designer's legs (during a lunch break) at work and wouldn't let go. LegCat was born!

3. Most of the stickers you offer now are quite cute and sweet. Some are a little more sardonic and even a little nasty in a fun way. But most of them seem most appropriate for friends and lovers. Quite charming and personal. I am wondering if you have plans to introduce stickers that would be more fitting for work-related text messaging? I see that as a huge market potential, as so many people use text messages now instead of speaking on the phone.

Yes, definitely. We are always looking for more ideas.

4. Is there anything else you might share about what is coming next

A lot is coming :)



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