Messaging App LINE Ordered by Apple to Remove Paid Sticker Gifting

Popular free messaging app LINE was forced to remove one of its key sticker features today, eliminating the ability for its users to purchase and send sticker sets as gifts to friends.

Stickers are an important monetary source for LINE, notes The Next Web, bringing in $17 million last quarter, which represented 30% of the company's total revenue. Stickers can be sent in chat messages and represent different characters and emotions. The stickers, which are bought in sets, can also be gifted to friends for their own use. A set of stickers generally costs $1.99 and includes 40 different sticker options.

linestickers

We received a request directly from Apple who operates the AppStore, that this sticker gifting function will have to be withdrawn from the app, and we do apologize for the disappointment this may cause to all of you who are having fun sending stickers as gifts to your friends.

Functions withdrawn from the iPhone version of LINE:
- Gifting function of paid-for stickers to friends
- Purchasing of Coins necessary to use the gifting function

LINE does not explain what aspect of paid sticker gifting triggered the removal, but the app does use a complicated system for sticker distribution. Stickers purchased for self use are standard in-app purchases, but sticker sets that are purchased as gifts for others require the purchase of in-app coins, a secondary currency that is then used to distribute the gift stickers.

It is still possible to send free sticker sets to friends, and remaining coins can continue to be used to purchase stickers, but no new coins are available. Gifting sticker packs is still available through LINE's Android app, and cross-platform interconnectivity has not been removed. Sticker purchasing for self use has not been affected.

LINE's success with stickers has inspired other apps, like Path, to use stickers. Facebook is also experimenting with stickers, having introduced them into both the iOS Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps for use when chatting.

Top Rated Comments

rishey Avatar
119 months ago
Nuts

Who the hell would pay to send a virtual sticker?
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
119 months ago
Am I the only person who has never heard of this program before?

And $17 million dollars worth of sticker giving? That's some change!
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fredr500 Avatar
119 months ago
That was $17M/quarter. That's $68M/year, and Apple gets 30% right off the top. They are giving up just over $20M/year by denying it.

But really, $68M for virtual stickers? What's wrong with you people?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roadbloc Avatar
119 months ago
And don't give me that "there's always Android" crap.
But if you're not happy with it... there is always Android. :)
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dazed Avatar
119 months ago
Am I the only person who has never heard of this program before?

And $17 million dollars worth of sticker giving? That's some change!
I never heard it either and don't think I'll be installing it :)

Virtual stickers just seems so sad.......maybe some people need more real world friends
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lifeinhd Avatar
119 months ago
This is why competition within the App Store ecosystem is important. Strongarming like this for no reason is just ridiculous.

And don't give me that "there's always Android" crap. You know what I mean :rolleyes:
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...