Jumping on the K-wave, Facebook has partnered with Korean boy band BTS and LINE FRIENDS to integrate their BT21 stickers into its Facebook and Messenger platforms, effective 19 July. BT21 is a collection of stickers, frames and AR filters created by boy group BTS in collaboration with LINE FRIENDS in October last year. This saw each member designing their own LINE characters, inspired by characteristics including personality, values and taste.
Introducing BT21, a new collection of stickers, frames and AR filters by global K-pop phenomenon #BTS, in partnership with @_LINEFRIENDS. Available exclusively on Messenger and Facebook starting July 19! #BT21 #BTSARMY pic.twitter.com/ejEWjYDMlK
— Messenger (@messenger) July 16, 2018
Following the move, fans of BTS have shown their excitement online, with many netizens claiming that they would reactivate their Facebook profiles to use the stickers. Some even said that would start talking to people on Messenger just so they could utilise the stickers fully.
“Creative expression is at the core of how people communicate in Messenger. We’re always looking for fun, new ways to help people say what they want to say. We will continue to offer many fun ways for people to express themselves visually, through one-on-one messages, group video chats, and a variety of camera experiences,” a Facebook spokesperson said to Marketing.
The BT21 line of characters was the first output from LINE FRIEND’s “FRIENDS CREATORS” project, which focuses on creating new intellectual property with global artists. The project is also part of LINE’s strategy to create a new character IP business, based on the creativity of global artists from different fields, a statement read at the time.
The BT21 launch was also a first time all of the members of a group had actively participated in the entire process of creating unique characters, as opposed to creating characters with physical similarities of the artists. To promote the collection at the time, a 14-episode behind-the-scenes video series was launched to showcase the development of BT21 characters, released on an official BT21 YouTube channel.