Hiroo Aoyama

Bitmoji Project




As a heavy Snapchat user, I was disappointed to see that its IPO did not go well. I decided to take a step back and start to think of ways to improve Snapchat from a user point of view. I love the app, and I love how it keeps me well-connected with my close friends from all over the world. I don't see why Snapchat should be dying, and I see it being part of my life forever. Hence, I took a week to research and innovate a new revenue stream for Snapchat company.



Initial Thoughts and Questions

  • What are the current successful revenue stream of Snapchat app? Is it just the Sponsored Filters?

  • Who are the users? 60% of its users are under 25. If we focus on a younger audience, we can be intentional with some decisions — e.g. what does young audience want from Snapchat?

  • Why would users use Snapchat over Instagram?

For me, I actually use Bitmoji Stickers a lot, where my snaps would often contain a sticker of my little avatar that reflects my current actions or moods. Instagram doesn’t really have this function. With this, I had a vision in mind — Can Snapchat use Bitmoji Stickers as a new revenue stream?



User Story and Analysis


I surveyed 29 High school Students and 47 College Students on my initial thoughts. Below are the data:


“[Snapchat’s] Sponsored Filters and Youtube Ads are often the first places where I find out about movies. I don’t really use the filters though.” — Male, 22

“I’m friends with significantly less people on Snapchat than Insta[gram]. So I am more comfortable showing my day to day life on my Snapchat versus Insta[gram]”—Female 21

“Bitmoji Stickers are cute and versatile. I don’t just use them on the individual snaps, but also in my stories and my chats with other people.” — Female, 22


A lot of my initial assumptions were reassured:

  • People who use Bitmoji Stickers use them a lot — in other words, there are loyal customers for Bitmoji Stickers.

  • The Sponsored Filters are typically used in Individual Snaps only, whereas Bitmoji Stickers are used everywhere including Snap Stories and Personal Chats which can lead to many more impressions.

  • Snapchat is a unique social media in that it’s often for close friends only.



A Dark Horse for Snapchat Revenue Stream


Below are my quick and brief notes of how Bitmoji Stickers can potentially become a new Revenue Stream for Snapchat app.


Link to Further Ads

Tap the Bitmoji Stickers and lead to Pop up Ads.

For instance, someone sends you a snap with Bitmoji Sticker of him/her eating a burger. You can tap on the Sticker that leads to a website of McDonalds Delivery.


Hidden Collectable Bitmoji Stickers

Create powerful impressions through Snapchat Collectables.

• What, where did you get that Sticker??

• Is that ___? How is it!! I want it too.


Youtuber Collaboration.

Famous people can submit a Bitmoji Series and sell it to the public. This is already implemented in Chinese app Wechat and Korean app Line.



Sample Ads for Sponsored Bitmoji Stickers


1. Same as Sponsored Filters Except Better

Bitmoji Stickers will lead to more impressions:

  • Bitmoji Stickers have loyal customers.

  • Sponsored Filters don’t show the user’s actions or emotions and are just “fun” tools.

  • Sponsored Bitmoji Stickers will be used in not only Individual Snaps, but also Snap Stories that are reached out to a bigger audience.

Bitmoji Stickers can link to websites:

  • Receivers of Snaps can tap onto the Bitmoji Stickers that link to further marketing materials.

  • Sponsors can change the links of Stickers to new marketing materials anytime.


2. Gamification of Collecting Bitmoji Stickers

Yes, I stole the idea from Pokemon GO. People love collecting things.

  • Incentivize the users to buy the products that come with Snapchat QR Code to collect Original Bitmoji Stickers.

  • Users will spread the stickers, and stickers act as marketing materials.

Let's imagine you bought a McFlurry, a summer-only drink at McDonalds. You know that McDonalds have some promotion on Snapchat and manage to unlock a sticker. You send a snap of that sticker, and now imagine the responses:

  • What?? How did you get that sticker!

  • McDonalds? Invite me next time dude

And don't forget. The stickers can link to UberEats to let the users order the McFlurry on the go.


3. Created and Sold by Other Users

People can make their own Bitmoji Sets to sell. This model is already done by many apps, including Chinese app Wechat and Korean app Line. https://techcrunch.com/2015/05/18/line-creators-market-freshman-year/

Here’s the flow:

  • People make Bitmoji sets, where each stickers has an empty space for the user’s avatar to fill in.

  • People sell the sets on Snapchat Sticker Store.

  • People can buy sets and send them to each other on a daily basis.

Why would people buy stickers? Please ask Kim Kardashian. https://qz.com/727610/apples-creating-a-new-sticker-economy-and-kim-kardashian-is-going-to-dominate-it/

For those that don’t understand, please imagine that you are a teenage girl obsessed with Kim Kardashian. Now imagine if you can buy a set of Bitmoji Stickers that have both you and Kim Kardashian. Cha-Ching.





It’s pretty awesome to imagine something for such a big product. I love Snapchat and I hope they read my article to really push Bitmoji Sticker features. Moving forward, I’d like to test this idea to see if Sponsored Bitmoji Stickers can truly save Snap company and set off a new era — Age of Stickers. I think it can.

Accepting all comments and discussions. Special thanks to my favorite illustrator for helping me draw the sample stickers - Roseanne Chao.