We are popular not because we are free – VIBER CEO

viber rakuten ceo pic

Talmon Marco, CEO Viber says  “We are popular not because we are free, but because users see something useful in what we offer”

Products: Viber , ViberOut
Product Type:  App [mobile calling app ]
Userbase Worldwide : 300Mn
Userbase  India: 16 million signed users in India
Competitors: Whatsapp, Line and WeChat.
Founder Name: Talmon Marco
Entrepreneur from : Israel:
Viber Acquired By: Rakuten Inc,  [Japanese e-commerce Giant]
Market Player in: Instant messaging apps
Devices Supported: Mobile , desktops & tablets
Platforms Supported:  Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Nokia and Bada devices

What is Viber ?
Viber is a mobile application that allows you to make phone calls and send text messages to all other Viber users for free! Viber is available over WiFi or 3G. VIber sound quality is much better than a regular call. Once you and your friends install Viber, you can use it to talk and message as much as you want. Talk, message, and talk and message some more - for free!
You can also call any number that doesn't have Viber at low rates using ViberOut.

Does it cost anything to use Viber?
Viber to Viber messages and calls are completely free.* You can also call any number that doesn't have Viber at low rates using ViberOut.

Can I use Viber to make international calls?
Yes, it doesn't matter whether you and your friends are on the same network or even in a completely different country, you can talk and text as much as you want! Just make sure your friends have Viber.

Does Viber include advertisements?
No, Viber doesn't contain any annoying ads.

How many active users does Viber have in India?
25% of  Viber's total user base is active. So with a user base of 16 million in India, close to 4 million users are active.

What Challenges does Viber have in India?
A Viber call using 2G won't be as good as the 3G experience. India has a problem of intermittent and patchy network conditions. Also 3G speeds are not that great as compared to global standards

Revenue Model : How Viber makes money in India?
Viber is currently monetising through two sources:
Source 1: Stickers (large emoticons) that would each cost anywhere between Rs 80 to Rs 250. The price depends on the type of sticker as copyrighted stickers like The Smurfs and Garfield are a little more expensive. With 250 million users worldwide, if even 1 % decide to buy stickers we have 2 million users and a significant revenue stream.
Source 2: Viber also monetising with a new feature that was introduced in Decemeber 2013, called Viber Out. It allows Viber users to call any number, anywhere in the world. The other person doesn't need to have the app. You can call a number in the US from India for about Rs1.6 for a minute which is very competitive.

Who Acquired Viber?
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc has shown interest in Viber to acquire for 900 million dollars by Rakuten is owned by billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani.

What exposure does Rakuten gets through Viber deal?
Rakuten gets exposure to the fierce market of instant messaging and freemium voice-over-IP services and adds 300 mn userbase to it's e-commerce business.

How are the monetization opportunities in Free messaging/calling  market?
Monetization in this market space is known to be extremely hard.

Tech Articles by Team@ Startuptimes.in

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