You Know Emoji Are Big When Snapchat Says So

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Tumblr

Bitmoji-snapchat-940x492

Snapchat spent $100 million to acquire Bitstrips, the customized comic and emoji app.

Who would have guessed they were worth millions though? If you are an avid social media user like me, you are bound to remember when your Facebook newsfeed almost turned into Comic-Con a few years back. News Feeds flooded with personalized comics called Bitstrips in late 2013, to be precise.

If you go looking, I’m sure you will find an album of yours on Facebook entitled “Bitstrip Photos.” It seems there is no getting away from Bitstrips. Snapchat just purchased the company for almost $100 million according to Fortune. You might see Bitstrips on Snapchat very soon.

If you are an avid social media user like me, you are bound to remember when your Facebook newsfeed almost turned into Comic-Con a few years back. News Feeds flooded with personalized comics called Bitstrips in late 2013, to be precise.

Talking about social media crazes from my teenage years makes me feel old despite being just twenty-two. I remember the first Bitstrip I created before heading off to a college ball. In case, you don’t know what a Bitstrip looks like, here’s mine from 2013:

3044570-slide-p-1-how-come-your-bitmoji-looks-so-much-like-your-face

What are Bitstrips, I hear you ask?

In the words of Jacob Blackstock, Bitstrips CEO and Creative Director:

“Basically, it’s an app that turns you and your friends into a cast of cartoon characters. Then you can take those characters and put them into crazy scenes. It’s a new way to express yourself and interact with your friends.”

The concept for the mobile application came about when Blackstock was in high school. He drew comics and passed them to his friend Shahan Panth (now VP Marketing at Bitstrips).

Although the pair were reprimanded by their teacher, Panth encouraged Blackstock to continue expressing himself through comics. They turned their love for comic drawings into a business in 2007 and Bitstrips was born.

Later they developed Bitmoji an application that allows you to create personalized emoji. The app generated $8 million from Horizon Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2014.

Bitstrips Snapchat Deal

“All the movies, all the television shows, all the fashion houses, all the pop stars, they all want to be bitmojis because we somehow became the determinant of who has made it,” – Jacob Blackstock, CEO Bitstrips

What brands can learn from the acquisition

When Snapchat gets serious with emoji’s, we should all pay attention. I knew emojis were popular but I did not know they were $100 million popular. Emoji’s add a personal, more emotional touch to writing that can be very ‘blank and white’ in nature. Brands should use emoji’s to connect with customers particularly younger customers such as millennials and the upcoming generation Z.

A look to the future of Snapchat and Bitstrip

It will be interesting to see if and how Snapchat will integrate Bitstrip in its current product. Neither company has commented on the acquisition thus far or how it will affect the brands into the future. Snapchat currently features emojis in their application but not the ability for users to personalize emojis.

The Bitstrips deal could help the quick growing social media messaging platform to extend its emoji keyboard. They may even charge for personalized emoji given the failure of their in-app lens store that they closed in January.

Bitstrips is probably not the last of Snapchat’s acquisitions. The company seems to be on an acquisition streak. According to leaked emails from Michael Lynton, a Sony executive and Snapchat Director they acquired eyeglass maker Vergence Labs, video-chat service AddLive and QR-scanning app Scan for as much as $50 million.

We will have to wait and see if emoji are worth the millions Snapchat just paid.

Resources: socialmediaweek.co

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *