Hi there, today we’ll be looking into how to install and use iMessage stickers. While some of you are quite savvy finding all these things by yourself, we’ve seen many users who struggle to find their way around iMessage. To be honest, we must add that Apple didn’t make it the most intuitive of how one installs and uses stickers in iMessage.

For Example, did you know that you can actually buy stickers from two stores? No? We thought so. Your first store is the old known Apple App Store, the one and only store full of iOS apps. The second one is the dedicated App Store for iMessage, which is available directly from your iMessage app.

So then you ask what is the main difference. Well, one of the main and at the moment still most confusing ones is that if you buy sticker packs (or iMessage apps) from the standard App Store you don’t actually get to see where the stickers get installed. Also looking at your “Purchased” tab, you can barely distinguish the difference between normal apps and stickers.

This caused a lot of confusion among buyers and unfortunately lots of developers were getting slack and negative reviews for “hiding” stickers. However, that was not the fault of the developers, but rather the slightly unusual set-up by Apple. It doesn’t make it clear that your stickers have actually been installed in the iMessage app, as well as when you open the iMessage app, you’re actually required to click through 3-4 times, before you actually open the stickers and apps drawer.

That is why installing and accessing iMessage stickers and apps from the default App Store for iMessage is better as you can immediately see before you start purchasing and installing stickers, where these stickers live and what you already have installed.

Now, let’s go from the start and follow this step by step. We’ll firstly look into how to install the stickers followed by how to access and use them. Plus there will be a little tip at the end for the developers, to help your users access the right App Store.

How to install iMessage stickers and apps

  1. Open iMessage app on your iOS device running iOS 10 or above.
  2. Click on the arrow icon next to the text input to get more options.
  3. Now click on the App icon.
  4. Click on the 4 rounded rectangles like icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  5. Click on the icon with a “plus” sign, which will take you to the App Store for iMessage.
  6. Now that you are in the App Store, you can browse stickers and apps for iMessage.
  7. Once you select and purchase or download sticker pack or app for iMessage, they will appear inside a drawer that you’ve seen in step 4 and 5 above.
iMessage Stickers - How to Install

How to access and use your iMessage stickers and apps

  1. Open iMessage app on your iOS device running iOS 10 or above.
  2. Click on the arrow icon next to the text input to get more options.
  3. Now click on the App icon which will open a drawer at the bottom.
  4. Click on the 4 rounded rectangles like icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  5. Now select sticker pack or app from the selection. If you do not see the one you’re looking for, just swipe the drawer left or right until you get it.
  6. Once you find your sticker pack select it and you will be presented with the stickers.
  7. If you would like to see all stickers in the sticker pack, press the bottom right icon.
  8. To use a sticker press on it to make it appear in the text input field. Alternatively if you would like to attach the sticker to a message cloud or a picture – click and hold the sticker then move it over the message cloud (make sure the cloud changes colour which will indicate that the sticker can be attached).
  9. To resize the sticker when dragging, just use another finger in a pinch and zoom motion. Pinch-out to make it bigger and pinch-in to make it smaller.
iMessage Stickers - How to Use

Tip for developers

To those of you who haven’t noticed yet, when you publish a link to your iMessage stickers and apps, you most likely got it from iTunes Connect or the online App Store, which means that every time you click that link on an iPhone or iPad, you will be guided to the default App Store. As we’ve discussed above, that could be a big no no, especially for some users, as it will cause them unnecessary grief, which in turn will probably hit you back like a boomerang in the form of a negative review.

So in order to avoid that, you should always add the following at the end of your links in order to open them directly in the App Store for iMessage: “?app=messages” (do not use quotations marks, we do hope that is clear by now).

And here is a little demonstration – why don’t you try it on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Link to our Trumpism stickers the old way [CLICK HERE]
  2. Link to our Trumpism stickers with direct link to App Store for iMessage [CLICK HERE]

We hope you can see the difference and that it will help you promote your content by linking to the correct App Store.