Twitter is testing out a stickers feature for photos

Steven Loeb · March 23, 2016 · Short URL:

The company will also allow users to see how others have edited photos, and to make suggestions

Twitter has been trying everything it can think of to get more users onto the site. That has included some changes to its overall layout (though not the drastic one that would have changed everything) as well as new features and services.

Now it's trying stickers. According to a report out from Re/Code on Tuesday, the company is currently testing out a product called, of course, Stickers, which would allow users to put additional images onto their photos before they Tweet them.

It's not a new product by any means, as its one used by many other social, and mobile messaging, companies, most notably Japanese company Line, which makes a lot of money by selling stickers.

Facebook, too, has been building out its creative tools, which has included stickers on photos, as well as text on photos, doodles and filters, over the past year. Snapchat has also added stickers, as well as many other filters.

Even Twitter has offered them before, on Twitter Camera, the app that is only available for celebrities.

There is a cool twist here, though, that does make the prospect of Stickers more exciting: a real social element. The company is said to be including a feature where other users, from around the globe, can see how others have edited the same photo. They can also suggest photos to edit.

We’re always researching potential new ways to make Twitter more expressive," a Twitter spokesperson told Re/Code.

Adding in new photo features is just the latest way that the company, which has been hit hard by stagnating user numbers and a falling stock price, has been trying to turn it around.

Its initiatives have included an update to its timeline, which gave users an opt-in way to change their timeline to display those that they are "most likely to care about," rather than just the most recent.

The company also toyed with the idea of getting rid of the 140-character limit, perhaps all the way up to 10,000 characters, before jetisonning that idea earlier this week. 

Those are the bigger moves that the company has been at least talking about, but there are also smaller ones it has made that the company believes will make Twitter function better.

That has included getting rid of "weird rules," like the .@name syntax and @reply, which new users would not know or understand. It also introduced Moments, a feature that is designed to curate content by aggregating Tweets and photos from live events and breaking-news situations. 

So far, none of this has helped Twitter much in the user growth department. By adding Stickers, at least Twitter would be keeping pace with what many of its competitors are already offering. 

VatorNews has reached out to Twitter for comment on this report. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.