Viber seeking edge over competition

Popular chat app Viber has been tackling an interesting direction lately. They’ve partnered with third party apps like Giphy, Wikipedia, and MovieDB for their chat extensions. This, along with their easy-access instant video messaging tool, was released earlier this year.

Atanas Raykov, Viber general manger for CEE, also revealed in an interview that they are planning a major expansion of their B2B capabilities, which shall attract a lot of attention from the brands and merchants to Viber. This, he said, is how they plan to multiply several times the revenue that they make from the region and to increase their customer base by 25-30 percent.



On top of this, they’ve also launched an in-app e-commerce feature, partnering with retail giants like Macy’s and Rakuten – making Viber a one-stop shop for online (window) shopping. Although still limited in terms of the buying process – users still need to access third-party sites to purchase – this innovation gives Viber an edge over competitors like Facebook owned Whatsapp and Southeast Asian pioneers Wechat and Line.

“Messaging is just starting its journey on mobile devices,” said Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua. “By adding ecommerce capabilities, Viber is bringing a solution for mobile shoppers to share their passion with the people that matter to them in a couple of taps. This is just the first step in a very exciting journey we’re about to take with our users, and it’s only going to get better as we add more partners and gather more feedback.”



The most recent addition to Viber’s update, however, takes them back to a slick competition with the rest of the competing messaging apps. Joining the bandwagon a couple of weeks after Whatsapp, Viber has just launched the “Secret Messages” feature, which lets users add a time-limit to any content they want to send out. These messages will be seen for the duration of the video, and only for the specific time limit set by the sender.

Viber said in a blog post that these ephemeral messages allow users to make their conversations more meaningful by choosing what stays and what goes. What sets it apart is that it is in the same thread of the permanent conversation, except that there’s an option to add something limited to it. And now, Viber’s 800 million registered users can enjoy these encrypted self-destructing messages in both individual and group chats for maximum privacy.



Djamel Agaoua, Viber