WeChat, or 微信 (Weixin) as it’s known inside China, dominates people’s digital lives in China in a way that no app does in the United States. It’s WhatsApp, Facebook’s news feed, Venmo, Uber, Tinder, and a gaming platform all rolled up into one. And even that hardly scratches the surface. Now Tencent, the behemoth that owns WeChat, is adding one more function to the latest version of the app for iOS — stickers.
The WeChat stickers are not just another collection of cartoons, either. They are being called “selfie stickers” because they feature, you guessed it, YOU. And like Apple’s Animoji and Memoji, they are actually kind of fun to play around with, even though I am definitely not a sticker person.
Like the name implies, you can snap a photo or take a short video of yourself, swap out the background, add text if you like, speed up the video, and save it to your sticker collection on your iPhone. Then it’s ready to go whenever you feel like surprising friends or family with a goofy sticker of yourself. (Which, admittedly, is still much better than sending one of these.)
To test them out, you need to be running WeChat 6.7.4. Just open a chat, tap the smiley face next to the text entry field, and then tap the clearly marked “add sticker” button. You can use a still image, record a short video, and even remove the background if necessary. You’ll also see the option to add text.
Stickers are inexplicably super popular in most Asian nations, so it’s no surprise that Tencent is adding the ability to personalize them. It might be something we see added to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp at some point down the line.