Snapchat is testing a new way to make money — with Hello Kitty

Snapchat may soon be introducing a new way for it to make money — with a little help from some furry friends. 

A tipster sent us a snap taken by Gabe Lehrman, a partnership associate at Snap, that shows a selfie of him surrounded by a bunch of virtual stickers. The stickers are of characters in Sanrio, including Hello Kitty and Badtz-Maru.

Text over the snap reads: “First partnered stickers alert!!”

Image: snap screenshot/gabe lehrman

Apparently Snapchat is testing more virtual stickers that aren’t by their own design or copied from someone else’s, as this story from The Ringer exposed

It’s unclear if it’s an ad unit and money is changing hands in the process, but Snap could, for sure, use some more money after a disappointing first-ever earnings report this week.

Snap did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

It wouldn’t be surprising if that were the case in the future. Other messaging apps, including Line, make money from sponsored stickers. Facebook’s Messenger has sticker packs, including one of Hello Kitty, but they are free.

Unfortunately for our tipster, she was blocked from viewing Lehrman’s snaps shortly after sending us the snap, via Snapchat. It’s unclear why he decided to block her, but the tipster got spooky feelings that Lehrman had enacted some sort of God mode to see his snap alongside the word “tip.” Right now, average Snapchat users don’t see when their public snaps are shared with someone else. This reporter also follows Lehrman on snap. 

Curious. As Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told investors this week, they like to stay secretive of what’s coming down the product pipeline: “I think at this point we’re famous for not giving guidance on the product pipeline,” Spiegel said. “Should be a fun rest of the year.”

Stickers? Yeah, looks fun. 

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