Gboard is jam-packed with extra features that augment the regular typing experience, particularly if you love using GIFs, stickers, and emoji when you communicate — Emoji Kitchen, in particular, is incredibly fun to play with. However, one of the most personal ways to communicate with stickers will soon no longer be available. Google has confirmed to 9to5Google that Gboard’s “Minis” stickers will be booted off the app at the end of October, without providing an exact date.
The Mini stickers were first introduced back in 2018. They’re based on a selfie you take, which Gboard uses as a template to create little comic versions of you, giving you probably the most personal way to react in chats. Google hasn’t done much to improve the Mini stickers once it introduced them, and the company hasn’t exactly advertised them aggressively. Instead, the Gboard developers preferred to turn their eyes to classic emoji mashups with Emoji Kitchen. While we don’t know for sure, it does look like the company wants to focus its efforts on these rather than keeping Minis support around.
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It’s a bummer that these stickers are going away, but from anecdotical evidence, I presume that they simply weren’t widely used. With people preferring to use largely impersonal emoji, putting their own faces in (group) chats as stickers probably feels cringy to many.