Last week I was invited to the launch of a new product by Viber, they didn’t say what the product was but I figured it would be interesting enough to go along, in agreeing to do so I thought I better actually download Viber and figure it out and I’m really glad I did!
I thought Viber was just another WhatsApp! type service, and it is just that but it offers so much more functionality than WhatsApp! which is the world leader in instant messaging apps, although for me that’s always been the problem with it – all you can do is instant message!
More than another messenger
Being able to instant message over a 3g or wifi connection is great especially for people like me talking to friends in the US and Spain texts would become costly, where as instant messaging is free via your data allowance on your phone or over wifi
BUT – Viber also offers video calling and regular phone calls via their app for free, yes free! This is pretty huge and a service that blows WhatsApp! out of the water so we all should just use Viber now right? Well yes in theory but getting people to change the app they use is a huge task, people feel comfortable with that app they have been using and need to be educated on the benefits of changing which I have been trying to do this week, the problem really is though everyone and I mean everyone is on WhatsApp!
So I guess all the above is why Viber are ramping up the advertising campaign, that and they have recently been bought by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten I’m sure has increased their budgets a tad.
So the other thing Viber are doing is entering the world of social, their idea is to have a liner instant message chat room type deal going with big brands, celebs and well other people you might be interested in, this all sounds great but theres one problem for me, you my friend aren’t invited to the party! …. Well that’s not entirely true, as Viber put it “Vip fans” will be invited to interact, while I understand this is intended to combat trolls it does create a bit of a them and us situation which Im not sure will go down too well but I guess time will tell on that one. I did raise this point with Viber CMO Mark Hardy who understood my concerns but pointed out the service is at a early stage and they are testing the waters.
Well so whats my conclusion on Viber? Having played with it and tried all the features its pretty awesome, now go download it and start the mammoth task of trying to get your friends to do the same!
Viber is availble on all the popular platforms, IOS, Android, Blackberry etc
for more info head to www.Viber.com