The private conversations of Instagram Direct (or DM) offer many more possibilities than we usually take advantage of, and the shipping of stickers is one of them. Now we will explain the way create your own custom stickers to send in Direct.
The process is not simple, but not as complex as it may seem at first glance. We must have graphic design knowledge and be aware that it will take several days, because a manual authorization is required before uploading stickers created by users, which in some cases will not grant us.
First of all, let's clarify what specific stickers we mean. They are the ones that appear as a smiling square in the text box of Instagram Direct:
When pressing, we get the left stickers, and to the right the traditional GIFs appear, in both cases there is a search engine at the top that indicates "Search Giphy":
Before creating our custom stickers ("stickers" in Spanish) we must be very clear about your similarities and differences regarding GIFS, to avoid mistakes:
- Stickers: They have movement, but their shape is not square or rectangular, so they are better integrated into the conversation. Internally, stickers have straight edges, but we don't see them because the background is transparent.
- GIFs: what Instagram calls GIFs is what we all understand, that is, brief images with movement, which in this case always carry rectangular edges.
The only way to use stickers in Direct is to locate them with the search engine that says "Search Giphy". Therefore, we will see how to open an account in Giphy and obtain the user verification so that our creations appear in the search engine.
Open a profile of Giphy
The last thing Instagram will want is for users to start designing personalized stickers not suitable for all audiences. The prohibited content on Instagram includes nudes, discrimination, violence … and also applies to stickers.
Therefore, Instagram resorts to Giphy, a service that collects GIFs and stickers, to make sure there is a control of the images. The first step is to join Giphy:
- Although Giphy has a web version for mobile and app, for these steps we will need use the desktop web. The registration can be done in the button in the upper right:
- The data for the registry Basic are simple, ask for an email, username, password, date of birth and gender:
- For Giphy to verify the artist profile, and so appear on Instagram searches, we will mark the profile as public, including a description, links to social networks and our website:
- It is also mandatory to add a personalized profile picture, that is, created by ourselves, not taken from the Internet:
- Before verifying the account, we must upload at least 5 original and own content. To upload a sticker we must use the "Upload" button from the upper right area, because the "Create" option does not allow you to create images with a transparent background:
The next step is to create the custom stickers we want, something that can not be done from Giphy itself, so we will see some options with external programs and websites.
Create the stickers to your liking
Before we start creating the stickers, we must be clear about the differences between PNG and GIF, two formats for saving photos. The GIFs can have movement and the transparent background, the two requirements of Instagram.
However, when creating stickers normally we will start from a series of consecutive images, that seeing one after another generate the movement. For this we will need to use PNG, because the JPG format, usual in the photos, does not support transparent backgrounds.
That said, the creation of stickers requires certain knowledge of graphic design, and use Photoshop or some of its alternatives as tools. To join the PNG and create the animated GIF we can use some website like ezGIF:
Web: GIF Maker (ezGIF)
Since we talk about personalized content, it is not possible to take a step by step, but we do include a example made by us, to create a sticker based on the "Emosido deceived" meme, popularized on the Internet from a graffiti:
- First we have used the graphic editor brush tool To reproduce graffiti on a canvas with a transparent background:
- We must save the image in PNG to preserve transparency.
- We have created two more images, moving the text a little up in one, and a little down in the other, using an editor selection tool.
- In this way, when the three images are played back, generates an insistent flickering animation, which goes quite well with what the text conveys. Now we join them with a tool like ezGIF:
- They will let us perform settings, such as the duration of each image in the resulting GIF, the order in which they appear or if they are played in a loop (as usual) or with a limit of times.
- There are many tools to join the frames but, if you use the ezGIF website like us, remember to check the box "Don't stack frames", otherwise the transparent background required by Instagram Direct will not work:
- After finishing the design and saving it as a GIF, the process to upload the sticker is simple, in the desktop version of Giphy we will click on the button "Upload":
- We have to make sure that the "Public" button is on "On" so that the sticker can be located, in the "Add Tags" field we will introduce the related words, so that users can find it from the search engine:
When you have ready at least 5 quality stickers, you can upload them to Giphy. Of course, they will be custom designs, but accessible to everyone, you can not limit who uses them. And before they appear in the search engine, you have to verify your account.
Verify your Giphy account
Since Instagram is very prudent with the content that is uploaded to the social network, so that our stickers appear in your search engine we must obtain a Giphy artist profile.
That is, that one person check the stickers manually to verify that they comply with the rules, which excludes any content not suitable for all publics (nudes, violence, discrimination …)
Giphy also value the artistic quality of the design, so that not everyone manages to be verified, and little by little the level of demand is rising.
- Before requesting the artist account we must have uploaded a minimum of 5 – 10 contents, fill in our profile data and upload your own image that represents us.
Web: Verify Giphy account
- The petition take a few hours to a few days to be reviewedIf they reject it, we will not be able to do it again, so we have to make sure that we meet the conditions and upload careful designs.
Locate your stickers in the Direct
After following these steps, our personalized stickers will be available in Direct, not only for us, but for any user. The way to send them is very simple:
- Within a conversation, press the smiley square icon from the text box:
- In the search box, which indicates "Search Giphy", we locate the stickers we just created using the tags that we have assigned them:
- Click on the specific sticker that interests us and send it in the Direct.
Finally, we must mention that this source of stickers and GIFs is shared by Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger (apart from other apps that reach agreements with Giphy), and that not only appear in Direct, they will also be available in Stories.
Therefore all the contents we design will appear in the three applications. Of course, creating stickers for WhatsApp is much easier, because we can use custom packs without prior approval.
Yes the process to create stickers on Instagram is quite complex and we are not guaranteed approval, if we get it we can "boast" of sending personalized messages in Direct with own animations, so it is worth the effort.
How to create animated text Stories
What do you think of this tutorial? Do you think Instagram makes it very difficult for users to upload their own personalized content?