BlackBerry’s new comeback plan? Stickers
Struggling Waterloo-based smartphone maker BlackBerry has spent the past two years churning through resurrection plan after resurrection plan in an attempt to regain market share lost to the likes of Apple and Samsung, and now it’s come to this: the company’s latest proposed moneymaker is…stickers. And not even real stickers.
“Stickers,” in smartphone parlance, refers to enhanced emoticons—tiny, customized pictures that users of a chat service can send to one another to indicate emotions. BlackBerry’s plan, according to the Post, is to start selling access to these types of emoticons through a new virtual storefront that will be attached to its popular BlackBerry Messenger software, which the company made available to iPhone and Android users last year. The first stickers are expected to be brand tie-ins for the product’s launch partners, which reportedly include World Wrestling Entertainment and Shaun the Sheep. The service is expected to launch in the next week.
The move is part of a larger effort to wring some much-needed revenue from BBM, and so it’s not as though BlackBerry is going to be turning itself into an emoji factory overnight. Even so, it’s strange to think that a company whose products were once seen as corporate status symbols is now betting part of its future on tiny pictures of pro wrestlers.