Viber, a cross-platform voice call and chat messenger, has announced its birthday plans. As the company turns three today, users will now be able to dial both landlines and mobile numbers, regardless of whether the recipient is a Viber user — at a fee with its new feature called Viber Out.
Last month, Viber Out was enabled to help users in the Philippines contact friends and loved ones for free after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan swept affected areas.
Purchasing credit for Viber Out can be completed through in-app purchases via Google Play Store / iOS App Store, or a credit card via Viber Desktop. The company also claims to have a “significantly lower price-per-call than other competing services” (Read Skype).
Viber also provided this author with a full list of price points for Viber Out in some 13 markets. Talmon Marco, CEO, Viber, also tells e27 that the different price points are in relation to what the firm is being charged in each country, “which varies greatly.”
“In every market, Viber has to work with respective telecom companies, which proves to be rather complex. Unlike competitor Skype, Viber shows the phone number of the caller on the recipient’s caller ID, which means that the firm has to partner ‘premium’ partners that are able to correctly reveal the caller ID,” says Marco.
The CEO expressed his inability to share a revenue target or any upcoming marketing plans at the moment. It is understood that the app currently generates revenue through its marketplace feature Sticker Market, which allows users to purchase stickers for in-app usage.
Marco adds that Southeast Asia remains a strategic market for Viber. He says, “We believe we are the clear leader in some of the Southeast Asian markets, while in others we definitely have some work to do.”
The communication company claims to be a “clear leader in Vietnam and Philippines” in Southeast Asia. It claims over 16 million users collectively — 8 million each — in these two countries.
“At the end of the day, we feel the winning service will be the one that best addresses the needs of the users in a particular market with the best product. Not the one that runs the most TV ads,” says Marco. He had last month tweeted that Viber has spent “$0 in advertising”.
With over 200 million users in 193 countries, Viber Out is currently restricted to Android and iOS only. But it hopes to extend the paid voice call feature on the Windows Phone too soon.
In addition to the Viber Out release, Viber has also added new content to its Sticker Market, namely a signature character by the name of Violet.