Have you been watching the explosion in audience size on the mobile messaging apps like Kik, Viber, Tango and WhatsApp and wondering how to participate as a marketer? Here are common questions answered and an offer available only to Myers Media Business Network participants that will get your brand in front of these massive audiences.

Messaging is hot. At least fifteen companies are seriously competing to dominate this space. In February 2014, Facebook paid $19B for WhatsApp and Rakuten paid $900M for Viber. According to Strategy Eye, 71 trillion messages are expected to be sent worldwide this year on messaging apps. These apps started out to be a way to avoid SMS costs but have blossomed into new ecosystems involving hundreds of millions of users.

Why are messaging apps important?

One reason is that the new messaging apps allow people to communicate with a smaller set of friends at a time. On Facebook you may find yourself broadcasting your personal life to 500+ “friends.” In the messaging apps you can chat with one friend at a time or choose a smaller group to share and chat with. Some apps like Viber or Skype also let you make phone calls less expensively. Some photo and video apps like Vine and Instagram have recently added the ability to send direct messages to friends. So some people are moving conversations away from Facebook and into these apps.

So is it just greater privacy, intimacy and security that make these apps so valuable? The answer is not entirely. Some messaging apps are already so big that they are being used to disrupt four established markets: virtual goods, gaming, commerce and payments. For example, Kakao Talk in Korea has launched a gaming line just for its app. In Japan, Line launched a peer to peer marketplace called Line Mall, where sellers earn rewards that can be redeemed in the mall. In China, WeChat allows users to enter card details to use WeChat Pay to pay for anything from virtual goods to offline purchases like taxis.

Welcome to the newest social revolution: These platforms are evolving into a third channel for acquisition, discovery and distribution on a similar scale to Facebook or Google. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant, a new game or just paying your bills , you may rely on these new networks to do so. As Kik’s CEO Ted Livingston said to TechCrunch, “Having a popular mobile messenger is simply going to become table stakes for competing in the mobile era.”

How can I participate as a marketer?

As a marketer, you know how Facebook and Google profoundly changed the way brands acquire and engage with their customers. The good news is that you can get involved today. There’s an excellent opportunity to incorporate your brands into conversations using stickers.

Virtual stickers are already big business. Line made $120 million in 2013 on stickers from 350 million users. Today you will find rich, emotionally-expressive, or funny stickers on Viber, Tango, Kik, Path, GroupMe and a range of other messaging apps used in the US and Europe.

How do stickers work?

Stickers help convey emotion and personalize messages. Some people send a sticker on its own to simply say “hi” and check if someone is up for a chat. Stickers stand out because they are larger and more visual than just plain text. Stickers typically come in packs of up to a dozen, some of which are free to use. Others cost around $2 per pack. These packs may be customized for brands, products or limited edition events. Once a sticker is selected you just tap to add it to your stream of text.

Branded stickers are a fun and effective new way to engage with your customers. Below is an example of stickers from Despicable Me 2. Stickers have been used to promote a wide range of products including music, drinks, airlines and more.

How do I get started?

If you are interested in branded stickers, WeeWorld has a groundbreaking opportunity to incorporate stickers into photos. Our new app, SlapSticker, coming out in the next few weeks, lets your brand be part of the big picture. With more than 12 billion monthly photo uploads to Facebook and Instagram alone, branded photo stickers are a strong visual opportunity.

SlapSticker lets you take a photo and add a sticker that can be shared on any social media platform including messaging apps – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, Pinterest, Imgur or any site that accepts photos. It helps the user add emotion and humor to any photo and is a great way to get your visual brand, product or characters straight into your customer’s hands where they are spending their time.

If you want to be one of the first to preview SlapSticker and understand how it could work with your brand, email Celia Francis at celia@weeworld.com now . Only the first twenty respondents can be accommodated. We’ll select two brands to be included in SlapSticker for free.

Jack Myers is an equity-options holder in WeeWorld, Inc.

Celia Francis is Chief Executive Officer of WeeWorld, Inc. She has two decades of experienceCelia Francis leading and building innovative mobile entertainment and messaging companies in Silicon Valley and the United Kingdom. Currently, Celia sets the strategic direction for WeeWorld’s continued growth and innovation making apps and content that allows people to express themselves.

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