Israeli free mobile communication platform provider Viber Media is releasing what it calls a “fun” version of its Viber messaging/phone call app as the company tries to establish itself as a global player in the mobile communication market.
Version 2.3 of the Viber app, available for both Android and iPhone devices, includes features such as emoticons, digital “stickers” that can be placed on text and photo messages, a feature called “send location” that allows users to share maps, and an updated user interface. In addition, the Android version of the app enables users to leverage their phone’s existing ringtones and message tones for communications through the Viber platform.
Viber Media does appear to be stepping up its presence in the global mobile communications game -- the company says it has reached 140 million users in 193 countries and adds 400,000 every day.
The Next Skype?
According to previous CMSWire coverage, Viber Media is “looking to cement its place as a leading rival to Skype with its hundreds of millions of users.” At the time CMSWire made this statement, (in July 2011 when Viber first released an Android app), we correctly predicted the Viber app would gain hundreds of millions of users. CMSWire also said “major players in the social or network market looking to round out their communications offering should find the company an attractive proposition if its Android offering does as well as the iPhone version.” A buyout has not yet occurred, but industry pundits should watch for potential activity in 2013.
What’s App With That?
A posting in the iDownloadBlog notes Viber 2.3 is coming out in the midst of “a rash of holiday updates” and also details that the app is “optimized for the iPhone 5′s taller display and plays nicely with iOS 6.”
In addition, iDownloadBlog identifies the “equally popular WhatsApp software which, however, does not support VoIP calling yet” as the chief rival for Viber, the “de facto #1 free multi-platform messaging client.” The posting even identifies two “camps” for the two platforms, placing them in a competition like that rival “Tonight Show” hosts Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien found themselves in a couple of years ago.
Whatever platform Viber is competing with, it appears to be doing quite well, and adding some “fun” to the mix should only increase its popularity with the all-important young adult audience that literally goes to sleep clutching their mobile devices and dreaming in SMS textspeak.
The Viber app works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, Symbian, Nokia S40 and Bada devices over a 3G/4G or WiFi connections.