First look: More stickers in Viber soon; licensed characters to be paid
After the launch of Doodles, ‘Seen’ status and new emoticons at the end of July this year, Viber is ready to launch its Sticker Market, e27 has come to know.By Dhaleta Surender Kumar 01 Oct, 2013
Messaging app, Viber will launch its Sticker Market next month, which will feature original and licensed content, e27 has come to know.
Viber Media Inc has confirmed the news to e27; however it refused to confirm the date of the launch, except, “Stickers will encourage the more than 200 millions users to express themselves creatively and make messaging on Viber fun.”
We also got to get the first look of the stickers and Viber confirmed that it will find place in the Stickers Market.
Viber has upped the ante adding more features lately. In its July-end update, it launched doodles and ‘seen’ status.
Viber all along has been free of “annoying ads” and continues to be the same way. It also, promises to keep the P2P (Viber-to-Viber) calls free. However, with the launch of the Stickers Market, Viber hopes to monetize its service with paid stickers, which will have licensed characters too. Viber, without disclosing the names said that the company has tied up with some brands for licensed characters. An all free service had puzzled many industry analysts and users till now. The Cyprus-headquartered startup says that its focus was on improving the user experience, before it came up with a revenue model.
It also can go for a revenue sharing model as it tied up with Indonesian mobile operator AXIS to provide Unlimited talk and chatting on Viber at daily, weekly and monthly plans, for IDR 500 (US$ 0.04), IDR 2,500 (US$ 0.21), and IDR 8,000 (US$ 0.69) respectively.
e27 feels that Stickers and licensed characters have a great revenue potential for messaging apps including Viber. Users get the stickers for free, brands can actually push their own customised characters, which spell their brand philosophy.
While Viber is tethered to a mobile number, like WhatsApp or WeChat, it is also known for being a platform and device agnostic as it is available for both the PC and the smartphones across OSes – iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Windows, Mac, Symbian, Nokia S40 and Bada devices. A Linux client too is available in beta, which would cover almost the entire range of platforms available.