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BlackBerry boosts BBM app with new stickers

BlackBerry just won't give up: More than a week after launching a new version of its BBM messaging app, the struggling Canadian phone maker has released stickers, available now in the new BBM Shop.

Bolder than emoticons, the new images allow users to add a bit of personality to their chats.

Part of a limited external beta, stickers can be downloaded in packs of 20 to 25 stickers from inside the application's store; each pack relates to a theme or character, like CosCat, Gilbert's Tales, Bubble Bot, and more.

"You'll also find some of your favorite characters from TV and movies in sticker form," Sean Hungerford, head of product management, wrote in a blog post, teasing more details to come.

The new lineup of more than 100 BBM emoticons, which launched with BlackBerry's latest BBM update, are also available for free, "so you can really get your point across in a bigger, bolder way," Hungerford said.

This month's update also included the extension of free voice calls to BBM contacts over a Wi-Fi or data connection—a privilege BlackBerry device users have had since December 2012. Apple iPhone and Android users can also now access BBM Channels, a social network that lets you follow brands and other people.

Additionally, those on any BBM-supported platform can share photos, documents, and voice notes, and will find built-in support for cloud-storage service Dropbox.

BlackBerry's sticker addition comes just days after Facebook purchased messaging app WhatsApp for a whopping $16 billion. Available on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and other devices, WhatsApp now has 450 million users. It is free for the first year and allows users to exchange messages without eating into monthly SMS allotments, like BBM and iMessage.

A couple of weeks ago, Blackberry was dealt a blow as its head of BBM walked out.