I (and my friends) fancy the stickers in Telegram a lot. That's actually how I pitched groups of my friends migrated from other WhatsApp to Telegram - just because it supports stickers.
Of course, Telegram is also a fast, rich and secure instant messenger app with an insanely smooth user interface.
First introduction of stickers
The first set of stickers was introduced in January 2015.
Telegram planned to offer stickers in for free:
All our stickers are and will be completely free, and you can always create and share your own stickers.
At first, there is only one set of official sticker on Telegram.
Make and submitting custom stickers
Since May 2015, artists can submit sticker sets to Telegram. I created a set of cat's sticker with our own cats, and the sticker attracted a large group of friends starting to use Telegram.
Submitting stickers doesn't require permissions nor approvals like Line / iMessage or other platforms do.
It's awesome to encourage sticker creation and sharing.
Distribution sites and channels
Since there is no official store in Telegram, distribution of stickers becomes a problem.
Then it appears loads of sites that list and distribute stickers for free.
Upon simple googling, I found many sticker catelog sites.
Stickers' original creator has no way to stop from people who steals
Despite Telegram wanted to create a open, free and limitless eco-system for stickers.
Open and free stickers seem to be great for consumers. Everyone can submit stickers and others can add them with a public link.
Submitter != creator
Sometimes, the one who submit the sticker might not be the original artist. They just download existing sticker packs from other platforms and upload them to Telegram.
"At least the stickers are for free and it doesn't be made profitable to anyone" - some may think.
Similar to freeware, being free doesn't imply you have the right to use the original work without permission.
The Bac Bac's Diray sticker is popular on Line by artist Darylhochi.
The complete pack of stickers can be added with this link: https://telegram.me/addstickers/BacBac . However, Darylhochi claimed on their Facebook post that the stickers are not uploaded by them.
Unlike other platforms, there is no way to prevent users from re-distributing copyright protected artworks as stickers.
Stickers are great, I hope they can be better.
Telegram may not have a plan to set up a sticker store yet. But as a creator, Telegram should to take some action to make sure creativity and effort of creators from the world is well-repected.
David Ng, Product Manager at Skygear.io