Viber is an instant messaging and VoIP platform created by Talmon Marco and Igor Magazinnik in 2010, acquired by Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten in a deal worth $900 million. Viber generates revenues via Viber Out, which allows users to call friends, family, or colleagues in 60 countries around the world using VoIP (charged at $5.99/month); Viber for Business, an advertising solution for businesses who want to connect with their target audience through instant messaging and through Viber stickers.
History of Viber
Viber is an instant messaging and VoIP platform created by Talmon Marco and Igor Magazinnik in 2010.
At the time, Marco was in a long-distance relationship and noted that communicating with his girlfriend in Hong Kong while based in New York City was rather expensive. This inspired him to find a cheaper alternative.
He reached out to entrepreneur and businessman Igor Magazinnik whom he met while serving in the Israeli Defence Forces. Before establishing Viber, the pair created P2P file sharing service iMesh which would ultimately provide the capital necessary to launch their new venture.
Once in operation, Viber was funded exclusively by friends and family for the first two years. The pair also hired developers in Cyprus and Belarus to keep costs low. The app was immediately successful, with the iOS version receiving 350 million downloads in the first six months. Viber users could easily call each other and synchronize contacts with their cell numbers. This was in stark contrast to competitors such as Skype that required users to create a buddy list of registered contacts.
In 2014, Viber was acquired by Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten in a deal worth $900 million. The platform has 250 million active monthly users worldwide, with many concentrated in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and some Asian countries.
Viber revenue generation
Marco and Magazinnik intended for Viber to remain free. However, several revenue generation strategies were implemented after it was acquired in 2016.
Following is a look at each.
Viber Out allows users to call friends, family, or colleagues in 60 countries around the world using VoIP. The company notes that collectively, these countries represent more than 75% of the global population.
To access the service, users receive a one-week free trial to make unlimited calls. Thereafter, Viber will charge $5.99/month.
Alternatively, users can purchase pay-as-you-go credit to make international calls. This credit can then be exchanged for call minutes which vary from country to country.
Viber for Business
Viber for Business is an advertising solution for businesses who want to connect with their target audience through instant messaging. Some of the more notable organizations to use this service include Coca-Cola and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Viber for Business caters to the complete user journey of each customer:
- Attract – marketing teams can reach a wide audience with in-app ads, stickers, offers, and targeted messages.
- Interact – enabling customer segmentation to customize marketing messages.
- Transact – here, Viber makes the process of making an in-app purchase effortless.
- Stay in contact – to build a long-term relationship, merchants can then follow up with further ads, messages, and promotions to reward loyalty.
Prices for this service are charged monthly and specific to the business and geographic region.
Viber stickers and games
Viber stickers are a colorful way for users to express themselves in a chat.
Users can create their own stickers for free or pay for stickers in the Sticker Market. Most paid sticker packs are available for around $2.
Single and multi-player games are also offered on the platform. Again, some are free while others are available for a fee.
- Viber is an instant messaging and VoIP platform founded by Talmon Marco and Igor Magazinnik. The idea for the platform came at a time when Marco was in a long-distance relationship and paying for expensive international phone calls.
- Viber Out is a monthly subscription plan allowing users to call non-Viber users in 60 countries across the world. The company also sells pay-as-you-go credit to users which are exchanged for call minutes.
- Viber for Business is a complete instant messaging marketing solution for businesses. Prices are available upon request.
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