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Facebook affixes stickers to messages on Web

Silly in nature, stickers could help Facebook's messaging products appeal to younger users gravitating toward other apps.

Facebook's sticker store, now available on the Web, features 16 character-driven packs of elaborate emoticons.

In an effort to boost messaging, Facebook announced Tuesday that members can now send stickers to each other in private messages from the Web.

The social network introduced stickers in April, adding them first to its Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps for iOS and Android. Stickers are essentially more elaborate, character-driven emoticons, and they give members a more lightweight means to communicate through kooky animations.

Facebook's stickers are accessible from the smiley icon inside messages. Members can download the digital messaging additives from Facebook's sticker store, which currently includes 16 free packs. Last week, Facebook added a "Despicable Me 2" sticker pack featuring characters from the computer-animated flick, as well as a "Beast" pack with animated stickers inspired by CEO Mark Zuckerberg's dog.

Silly in nature, stickers are intended to help members communicate better and "mimic...what's lost in face-to-face connections," Aaron Goldsmid, the product lead behind Facebook's sticker initiative, previously told CNET. The fancy emoticons are also an obvious ploy to keep younger users glued to its messaging products, which have lost their luster to single-purpose messaging apps from WhatsApp, Kik, and Line.