WITH the pace of social media and mobile app evolution moving so fast, there’s always an anticipation for the next big thing coming out of the screen.
Leading one of the world’s top messaging apps, Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua shares how the communications app is working to become an “all-in-one app” that offers more than just messaging, but also chat communities, mobile payment services and so much more.
Since its launch, Viber has made the communications experience much richer through the app’s unique and useful features. Aside from sending photos and videos, Viber users can share GIFs, YouTube videos, and Spotify tracks without having to leave their chats through the Chat Extensions, and even reserve hotels via Booking.com or send their locations securely to friends and family.
Agaoua emphasizes that users are given the privacy and security that they deserve because they have full control over their data—they can delete messages and share disappearing messages, and trust that no one else will see their information because of the app’s end-to-end message encryption.
“2018 is looking like an exciting and promising year for messaging apps,” says Agaoua. Since consumers worldwide are spending more time on messaging apps and less time in other apps (including social apps), Viber is gearing up to allow people to do even more on the app. Over the past few years, they have even been testing new features in different markets that will propel them to become the only app of choice, and it will only be a matter of time before the Philippines can use them, as well.
Their newly launched Communities feature, for example, enables users to connect in a group chat of up to 1 billion users.
Users with shared interests, hobbies or passions can now engage wherever they are in the world. Through this, Viber also wants to encourage people, celebrities, and even brands to use the platform in promoting causes and building businesses.
Shopping within the app will soon be available as Viber has been working on their Instant Shopping platform, which enables users to shop with friends and browse and share products directly into your chats. After the success of its launch in the US last year, the feature will be rolling out in certain countries in Europe this year. The Philippines, along with the rest of Southeast Asia, can expect to start shopping within Viber in 2019.
Viber is also working on expanding its services the Bills Payment feature. Agaoua mentions they want to make users settle their bills, or directly send money, using Viber.
“There are multiple experimentations in Russia and Japan. In Japan you can pay with your Rakuten Bank wallet or send money to another Viber user.
In Russia, where Rakuten doesn’t have a banking license, you can use WalletOne, an electronic wallet that users can credit or link to a bank account,” Agaoua furthers.
It’s 2018 and the future is in your smartphone.