Viber looks to double its 16m subscriber base in a year’s time

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Viber, the application that allows free voice calls and text messages to other Viber users, is pinning its growth strategy on the surging smartphone numbers. It is hopeful of doubling its subscriber base from the 16 million customers in India in a year, the push is mainly coming from the smartphones.

“The number of smartphones is doubling every year as the price points for them have been made considerably lowered. The growth will also come from the smaller cities,” according to Anubhav Nayyar, country head, Viber. The focus of users will be to use for internet-based communication to reduce overall costs. “People are on mobiles for longer periods. This is the central policy for Viber that is driving growth,” he said adding that it would focus on customer experience by not including any advertisements in the app.

Among others, it is now depending on its Sticker Market for some revenues. The stickers, which includes free and paid for, are used for making communication fun and expressive, he said.

“To analyse the requirements of users, we maintain a database through which we study what kind of stickers are liked by consumers and which are in high demand. These analytics help us to constantly update and add new stickers to our store,” he said adding that it has over 1000 expressive characters, many of which were designed for its or users in Asia.

There is significant monetisation through stickers, he said refusing to quantify the sale proceeds.

It has also recently announced ViberOut, for paying for calls made to people who do not have Viber accounts. The pricing of the calls through the ViberOut is low, he said adding that this comes handy for making international calls. For most of the countries, the call rates are priced Rs 1.6 per minute onwards. ViberOut is on iPhone and Android devices, with support for other platforms coming soon, he said.

More than 95 per cent of the subscribers are on the free usage. Among others, it is relying on its group messaging capabilities sustain the user interest, he said.


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